Knee replacement complications in post-traumatic osteoarthritis patients

Prolotherapy Knee articular cartilage repair without surgery

Ross Hauser, MD

In a recent paper, doctors from NYU Langone Medical Center, Hospital for Joint Diseases suggest that total knee arthroplasty (replacement) is often the best answer for end-stage, post-traumatic osteoarthritis after intra-articular (inside) and periarticular (around) osteoarthritic fractures the knee.

If you have questions about knee replacement complications in post-traumatic osteoarthritis patients, send them in by emailing us

However, total knee replacement in the setting of post-traumatic osteoarthritis is often considered more technically demanding surgery and the surgical outcomes are typically worse for these patients. The goal of the NYU paper was to create a new classification label for post-traumatic osteoarthritis patients and improve medical documentation and improve patient care.

In a similar study, doctors at Duke University also recognized that Total Knee Arthroplasty as an important treatment for post-traumatic arthritis. However, these researchers also found complications that should not be expected in a mostly healthy patient population.

This included:

Options for knee replacement in post-traumatic arthritis

Doctors at Italy’s Bologna University looked at osteochondral allografts (cartilage transplantation from a donor) for their treatment of end-stage arthritis in younger post-traumatic arthritis patients. Here are their troubling findings:

The need for success options are obvious. Doctors at the University of Alberta and the University of Calgary in Canada found that young athletes with post-traumatic knee arthritis had significant and rapid physical declines between the time of injury and the onset of arthritis.

In this study the Canadian researchers looked at:

The study’s authors reiterated in their conclusion: “This study provides preliminary evidence that youth/young adults following sport-related knee injury report more symptoms and poorer function, and are at greater risk of being overweight/obese 3-10 years post-injury compared to matched uninjured controls.”4

Comprehensive Prolotherapy non-surgical knee tissue regeneration

Our website is filled with a library of information on the non-surgical reparative properties of stem cells, Platelet Rich Plasma and Prolotherapy for the treatment of degenerative knee arthritis. Please see our articles

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1  Kester BS, Minhas SV, Vigdorchik JM, Schwarzkopf R. Total Knee Arthroplasty for Posttraumatic Osteoarthritis: Is it Time for a New Classification? J Arthroplasty. 2016 Aug;31(8):1649-1653.e1. [Pubmed]

2 Bala A, Penrose CT, Seyler TM, Mather RC 3rd, Wellman SS, Bolognesi MP. Outcomes after Total Knee Arthroplasty for post-traumatic arthritis. Knee. 2015 Dec;22(6):630-9. doi: 10.1016/j.knee.2015.10.004. Epub 2015 Oct 31.

3 Giannini S, Buda R, Ruffilli A, Pagliazzi G, Ensini A, Grigolo B, Desando G, Vannini F.  Failures in bipolar fresh osteochondral allograft for the treatment of end-stage knee osteoarthritis. Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc. 2015 Jul;23(7):2081-9. doi: 10.1007/s00167-014-2961-1. [Pubmed]

4 Whittaker JL, Woodhouse LJ, Nettel-Aguirre A, Emery CA. Outcomes associated with early post-traumatic osteoarthritis and other negative health consequences 3-10 years following knee joint injury in youth sport. Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2015 Jul;23(7):1122-9. doi: 10.1016/j.joca.2015.02.021. Epub 2015 Feb 26. [Pubmed]


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