One-third of knee replacements classified as inappropriate

June 30, 2014

New research reports that more than one third of total knee replacements in the U.S. were classified as "inappropriate" using a patient classification system developed and validated in Spain. The study, published in Arthritis & Rheumatology, a journal of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR), highlights the need for consensus on patient selection criteria among U.S. medical professionals treating those with the potential need of knee replacement surgery.

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality reports more than 600,000 knee replacements are performed in the U.S. each year. In the past 15 years, the use of total knee arthroplasty has grown significantly, with studies showing an annual volume increase of 162% in Medicare-covered knee replacement surgeries between 1991 and 2010. Some experts believe the growth is due to use of an effective procedure, while others contend there is over-use of the surgery that relies on subjective criteria.

The present study led by Dr. Daniel Riddle from the Department of Physical Therapy at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, examined the criteria used to determine the appropriateness of total knee arthroplasties. "To my knowledge, ours is the first U.S. study to compare validated appropriateness criteria with actual cases of knee replacement surgery," said Dr. Riddle.

A modified version of the appropriateness classification system developed by Escobar et al. along with the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Arthritis Index (WOMAC) Pain and Physical Function scales were used to assess participants enrolled in the Osteoarthritis Initiative--a prospective 5-year study funded in part by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). There were 175 subjects who underwent total knee replacement surgery, and were classified as appropriate, inconclusive, or inappropriate.

The mean age of knee replacement patients was 67 years and 60% of the group was female. Analyses show that 44% of surgeries were classified as appropriate, 22% as inconclusive, and 34% deemed inappropriate. The characteristics of patients undergoing surgery were varied.

"Our finding that one third of knee replacements were inappropriate was higher than expected and linked to variation in knee pain OA severity and functional loss. These data highlight the need to develop patient selection criteria in the U.S.," concludes Dr. Riddle.

In a related editorial, Dr. Jeffery Katz from the Orthopedic and Arthritis Center for Outcomes Research at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, Mass., writes, "I agree with Riddle and colleagues, and with Escobar and colleagues, that we should be concerned about offering total knee replacements to subjects who endorse "none" or "mild" on all items of the WOMAC pain and function scales."
-end-
Dr. Katz also calls for an update to the criteria used to determine which patients are good candidates for total knee arthroplasty. Dr Katz's work is supported in part by a grant from the NIH (P60AR047782).

This study is published in Arthritis & Rheumatology. Media wishing to receive a PDF of this article may contact sciencenewsroom@wiley.com.

Full citation: "Using a Validated Algorithm to Judge the Appropriateness of Total Knee Arthroplasty in the United States: A Multi-Center Longitudinal Cohort Study." Daniel L. Riddle, William A. Jiranek and Curtis W. Hayes. Arthritis & Rheumatology; Published Online: June 30, 2014 (DOI: 10.1002/art.38685).

URL Upon Publication:http://doi.wiley.com/10.1002/art.38685

Editorial: "Appropriateness of Total Knee Replacement." Jeffrey N. Katz, Arthritis & Rheumatology; Published Online: June 30, 2014 (DOI: 10.1002/art.38688).

URL Upon Publication:http://doi.wiley.com/10.1002/art.38688

About the Authors: To arrange an interview with Dr. Riddle, please contact Eric Peters with Virginia Commonwealth University at +1 804-828-0563 or petersem@vcu.edu. Media wishing to speak with Dr. Katz may contact Jessica Maki with Brigham & Women's Hospital at jmaki3@partners.org.

About the Journal

Arthritis & Rheumatology is an official journal of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) and covers all aspects of inflammatory disease. The American College of Rheumatology is the professional organization whose members share a dedication to healing, preventing disability, and curing the more than 100 types of arthritis and related disabling and sometimes fatal disorders of the joints, muscles, and bones. Members include practicing physicians, research scientists, nurses, physical and occupational therapists, psychologists, and social workers. The journal is published by Wiley on behalf of the ACR. For more information, please visit http://wileyonlinelibrary.com/journal/art.

About Wiley

Wiley is a global provider of content-enabled solutions that improve outcomes in research, education, and professional practice. Our core businesses produce scientific, technical, medical, and scholarly journals, reference works, books, database services, and advertising; professional books, subscription products, certification and training services and online applications; and education content and services including integrated online teaching and learning resources for undergraduate and graduate students and lifelong learners.

Founded in 1807, John Wiley & Sons, Inc. (NYSE: JWa, JWb), has been a valued source of information and understanding for more than 200 years, helping people around the world meet their needs and fulfill their aspirations. Wiley and its acquired companies have published the works of more than 450 Nobel laureates in all categories: Literature, Economics, Physiology or Medicine, Physics, Chemistry, and Peace. Wiley's global headquarters are located in Hoboken, New Jersey, with operations in the U.S., Europe, Asia, Canada, and Australia. The Company's website can be accessed at http://www.wiley.com.

Wiley

Related Pain Articles from Brightsurf:

Pain researchers get a common language to describe pain
Pain researchers around the world have agreed to classify pain in the mouth, jaw and face according to the same system.

It's not just a pain in the head -- facial pain can be a symptom of headaches too
A new study finds that up to 10% of people with headaches also have facial pain.

New opioid speeds up recovery without increasing pain sensitivity or risk of chronic pain
A new type of non-addictive opioid developed by researchers at Tulane University and the Southeast Louisiana Veterans Health Care System accelerates recovery time from pain compared to morphine without increasing pain sensitivity, according to a new study published in the Journal of Neuroinflammation.

The insular cortex processes pain and drives learning from pain
Neuroscientists at EPFL have discovered an area of the brain, the insular cortex, that processes painful experiences and thereby drives learning from aversive events.

Pain, pain go away: new tools improve students' experience of school-based vaccines
Researchers at the University of Toronto and The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) have teamed up with educators, public health practitioners and grade seven students in Ontario to develop and implement a new approach to delivering school-based vaccines that improves student experience.

Pain sensitization increases risk of persistent knee pain
Becoming more sensitive to pain, or pain sensitization, is an important risk factor for developing persistent knee pain in osteoarthritis (OA), according to a new study by researchers from the Université de Montréal (UdeM) School of Rehabilitation and Hôpital Maisonneuve Rosemont Research Centre (CRHMR) in collaboration with researchers at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM).

Becoming more sensitive to pain increases the risk of knee pain not going away
A new study by researchers in Montreal and Boston looks at the role that pain plays in osteoarthritis, a disease that affects over 300 million adults worldwide.

Pain disruption therapy treats source of chronic back pain
People with treatment-resistant back pain may get significant and lasting relief with dorsal root ganglion (DRG) stimulation therapy, an innovative treatment that short-circuits pain, suggests a study presented at the ANESTHESIOLOGY® 2018 annual meeting.

Sugar pills relieve pain for chronic pain patients
Someday doctors may prescribe sugar pills for certain chronic pain patients based on their brain anatomy and psychology.

Peripheral nerve block provides some with long-lasting pain relief for severe facial pain
A new study has shown that use of peripheral nerve blocks in the treatment of Trigeminal Neuralgia (TGN) may produce long-term pain relief.

Read More: Pain News and Pain Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.