The clinical outcome of total knee arthroplasty is compromised by a previously implanted medial unicondylar knee arthroplasty

M C Liebensteiner, A Ruzicka, M Hinz, H Leitner, A Harrasser, D Dammerer, M Krismer

Research output: Journal article (peer-reviewed)Journal article


Objective: To investigate the clinical outcome of patients that underwent conversion of a medial unicondylar knee arthroplasty (UKA) to a total knee arthroplasty (TKA) and to compare that outcome to patients that underwent primary TKA. It was hypothesized that those groups would significantly differ in terms of knee score outcome and implant survival. Methods: A retrospective-comparative study was conducted utilizing data from the Federal state’s arthroplasty registry. Included were patients from our department that undergone a conversion of a medial UKA to a TKA (UKA-TKA group). The Western Ontario and MacMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC) from preoperative and 1-year postoperative was used. Moreover, the implant survival was analyzed. Results: In the UKA-TKA group, there were 51 cases (age 67 ± 10, 74% women), and in the TKA group, there were 2247 cases (age 69 ± 9, 66% women). The one-year postoperative WOMAC total score was 33 in the UKA-TKA group und 21 in the TKA group (p < 0.001). Similarly, the WOMAC pain, WOMAC stiffness, and WOMAC function scores were significantly worse in the UKA-TKA. After 5 years, the survival rates were 82% and 95% (p = 0.001). The 10-years prosthesis survival was 74% and 91% in the UKA-TKA and TKA groups, respectively (p < 0.001). Conclusions: Based on our findings it is concluded that patients who received a TKA after UKA have inferior results than those that directly receive a TKA. This is true for both patient-reported knee outcome and prosthesis survival. Converting UKA to TKA should not be seen as an easy operation, but should rather be done by surgeons with considerable experience in both primary and revision knee arthroplasty.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4331-4337
Number of pages7
JournalArchives of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery
Issue number7
Early online date18 Mar 2023
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2023


  • Conversion arthroplasty
  • Orthopedic surgery
  • Revision
  • Revision arthroplasty
  • TKA
  • UKA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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