Theofilos Karasavvidis, Nathan P. Fackler, Kylie T. Callan, Brandon E. Lung, Dean Wang

Comparison of Early Complication Rates After High Tibial Osteotomy Versus Unicompartmental Knee Arthroplasty for Knee Osteoarthritis

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

Background: Although both high tibial osteotomy (HTO) and unicompartmental knee arthroplasty (UKA) can be utilized to treat unicompartmental osteoarthritis (OA) in select patients, the early complication rates between the 2 procedures are not well understood. Understanding of the complication profiles for both procedures would help clinicians counsel patients with unicompartmental knee OA who may be eligible for either treatment option. Purpose: To compare the 30-day complication rates after HTO versus UKA for the treatment of knee OA using the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) database. Study Design: Cohort study; Level of evidence, 3. Methods: NSQIP registries between 2006 and 2019 were queried using Current Procedural Terminology codes to identify patients undergoing HTO and UKA for knee OA. Patients >60 years of age were excluded. Patient demographics, preoperative comorbidities, and intraoperative data were collected. Postoperative 30-day complications, including venous thromboembolism (VTE), urinary tract infection (UTI), transfusion, surgical-site infection (SSI), and reoperations were recorded. Complication rates between treatment groups were compared using a multivariate logistic regression model adjusted for sex, age, body mass index, steroid use, respiratory status (smoking/dyspnea/chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), diabetes, and hypertension. Results: A total of 156 patients treated with HTO and 4755 patients treated with UKA for knee OA were identified. Mean patient ages were 46 years for the HTO group and 53.4 years for the UKA group. Operative time was significantly longer in the HTO group versus the UKA group (112 minutes vs 90 minutes; P < .001). Multivariate analyses found no significant differences in VTE (1.3% vs 0.6%), UTI (0.6% vs 0.3%), transfusion (0.6% vs 0.2%), deep SSI (0.6% vs 0.1%), and reoperation (1.3% vs 1%) rates between HTO and UKA groups. The HTO group had a higher rate of superficial SSI compared with the UKA group (2.6% vs 0.6%; P = .006) (adjusted odds ratio, 4.2; 95% CI, 1.4-12.5; P = .01). Conclusion: There were no differences in 30-day VTE, UTI, transfusion, deep SSI, and reoperation rates for HTO versus UKA in the treatment of knee OA. HTO was associated with a higher rate of superficial SSI compared with UKA. These findings serve to guide clinicians in counseling patients regarding the early risks after HTO and UKA.

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