The Effect of Surgeon Caseload on the Relative Revision Rate of Cemented and Cementless Unicompartmental Knee Replacements: An Analysis from the National Joint Registry for England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man.
Mohammad HR., Matharu GS., Judge A., Murray DW.
BACKGROUND: Unicompartmental knee replacement (UKR) offers substantial benefits compared with total knee replacement (TKR) but is associated with higher revision rates. Data from registries suggest that revision rates for cementless UKR implants are lower than those for cemented implants. It is not known how much of this difference is due to the implant or to other factors, such as a greater proportion of high-volume surgeons using cementless implants. We aimed to determine the effect of surgeon caseload on the revision rate of matched cemented and cementless UKRs. METHODS: From a group of 40,522 Oxford (Zimmer Biomet) UKR implants (30,814 cemented, 9,708 cementless) recorded in the National Joint Registry, 14,814 (7,407 cemented, 7,407 cementless) were propensity-score matched. Surgeons were categorized into 3 groups: low volume (<10 cases/year), medium volume (10 to <30 cases/year), and high volume (≥30 cases/year). The effect of caseload on the relative risk of revision was assessed with use of Cox regression. RESULTS: The 10-year survival rates for unmatched cementless and cemented UKR implants were 93.3% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 89.8% to 95.7%) and 89.1% (95% CI = 88.6% to 89.6%), respectively, with the difference being significant (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.59; p < 0.001). Cementless UKR implants had a greater proportion of high-volume surgeon users than cemented implants (30.4% compared with 15.1%). Following matching, the 10-year survival rates were 93.2% (95% CI = 89.7% to 95.6%) and 90.2% (95% CI = 87.5% to 92.3%), which were still significantly different (HR = 0.76; p = 0.002). The 10-year survival rates for matched cementless and cemented UKR implants were 86.8% (95% CI = 73.6% to 93.7%) and 81.8% (95% CI = 73.0% to 88.0%) for low-volume surgeons, 94.3% (95% CI = 92.2% to 95.9%) and 92.5% (95% CI = 89.9% to 94.5%) for medium-volume surgeons, and 97.5% (95% CI = 96.5% to 98.2%) and 94.2% (95% CI = 90.8% to 96.4%) for high-volume surgeons. The revision rate for cementless implants was lower for surgeons in all 3 caseload groups (HR = 0.74, 0.79, 0.80, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: Cementless fixation decreased the revision rate by about a quarter, whatever the surgeon caseload. Caseload had a profound effect on implant survival. Low-volume surgeons had a high revision rate with cemented or cementless fixation and therefore should consider either stopping or doing more UKR procedures. High-volume surgeons performing cementless UKR demonstrated a 10-year survival rate of 97.5%, which was similar to that reported in registries for the best-performing TKRs. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Therapeutic Level III. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.