Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy

, Volume 24, Issue 10, pp 3235–3241 | Cite as

Moderate clinical improvement after revision arthroplasty of the severely stiff knee

  • P. J. C. Heesterbeek
  • J. H. M. Goosen
  • J. J. P. Schimmel
  • K. C. Defoort
  • G. G. van Hellemondt
  • A. B. Wymenga



Revision of the severe stiff total knee arthroplasty (TKA) is challenging, and clinical outcome is inferior to other indications for revision. The purpose of the present study was to determine clinical outcome of TKA revision in patients with severe stiffness (range of motion (ROM) ≤ 70°) and evaluate a possible influence of accompanying findings, such as component malposition, aseptic loosening or instability.


A prospective cohort of 40 patients with a preoperative ROM ≤ 70° and a minimum of 2-year follow-up after total system revision (Genesis or Legion stemmed condylar implant) was evaluated. ROM, Knee Society Scoring System (KSS) and visual analogue scale (VAS) pain scores were obtained preoperatively and at 2 years. Patient satisfaction and complication rate were assessed. Component malposition was most frequently reported as accompanying finding (n = 27). Comparisons between pre- and postoperative outcome (p < 0.05) and between different subgroups (component malposition, aseptic loosening, and instability) based on accompanying findings were made (no statistical comparison).


ROM, KSS and VAS pain scores improved significantly (p < 0.001): median ROM at two years 85° (range 10–125) and median gain 25° (range −10 to +85). Median VAS satisfaction was 53.5 points (range 15–98). Seventeen patients reported at least one complication, including one re-revision. Six patients underwent manipulation under anaesthesia, and five were referred to the pain clinic. No clear differences between subgroups were observed.


TKA revision in patients with severe stiffness resulted in a moderate but significant improved clinical outcome after 2 years. Accompanying abnormalities such as component malposition, aseptic loosening or instability did not influence clinical outcome. Realistic patient counselling on the moderate outcome and possible remaining limitations in daily life might help to improve patient satisfaction.

Level of evidence

Therapeutic studies—case series with no comparison group, Level IV.


Revision total knee arthroplasty Stiffness Revision surgery Clinical outcome Range of motion 



The authors wish to thank Saskia Susan (research nurse) and Jolanda Rubrech (administrative assistant) for assisting in data collection and Peter van Essen for his contribution. The institute of one or more of the authors (P.H., J.S., K.D., G.H., J.G., A.W.) has received funding from Smith & Nephew for staff and materials. One or more of the authors (K.D., G.H., J.G., A.W.) have received funding from Smith & Nephew. Smith & Nephew had no involvement in the study design, data collection, analysis and interpretation, writing of the manuscript and the decision to submit the work for publication.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest



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Copyright information

© European Society of Sports Traumatology, Knee Surgery, Arthroscopy (ESSKA) 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. J. C. Heesterbeek
    • 1
  • J. H. M. Goosen
    • 1
  • J. J. P. Schimmel
    • 1
  • K. C. Defoort
    • 1
  • G. G. van Hellemondt
    • 1
  • A. B. Wymenga
    • 1
  1. 1.Sint MaartenskliniekNijmegenNetherlands

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