Evaluating the Progression of Osteolysis After Total Knee Arthroplasty

Jason G. Dalling J Am Acad Orthop Surg. March 2015. vol. 23 no. 3

Osteolysis around the knee following total knee arthroplasty continues to be a leading cause for revision total knee arthroplasty. Risk factors for periprosthetic knee osteolysis are associated with excessive polyethylene wear and include, but may not be limited to, malalignment of the mechanical axis, early-generation polyethylene sterilization techniques, excessive backside polyethylene wear, metal-backed patellar components, patient age, and an elevated body mass index. The initial diagnosis of osteolysis is frequently discovered on routine surveillance radiographs. The location, size, progressive nature, and associated symptomatology of the defect guides treatment. Surgical indications and timing are predicated on the risk of failure with continued observation. Advanced imaging helps to quantitate the size and location of osteolytic lesions as accurately as possible and aids in preoperative planning. When deciding whether surgery or management with continued radiographic surveillance is indicated, a global assessment of the character and progression of the osteolysis must be weighed with the risk factors associated with the patient.

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