The benefits of surgical treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee include relief of pain and improved function. Most invasive operative treatments, primarily arthroplasty, are associated with known risks.
Early postoperative complications include prosthetic infection, venous thromboembolic disease, arthrofibrosis, and pain. Late postoperative complications include infection, prosthetic aseptic loosening, and pain. All can lead to a need for revision arthroplasty.
Contraindications are relative and require an in depth discussion with the patient and physician (surgeon, anesthesiologist) about their individual risk factors. Additional factors, such as the individual’s co-morbidities, and/or specific patient characteristics may affect the physician’s choice of treatment. Clinician input based on experience increases the probability of identifying patients who will benefit from specific treatment options. The individual patient and/or their decision surrogate dynamic will also influence treatment decisions, therefore, discussion of available treatments and procedures applicable to the individual patient rely on mutual communication between the patient and/or decision surrogate and physician, weighing the potential risks and benefits for that patient. Once the patient and/or their decision surrogate have been informed of available therapies and have discussed these options with the patient’s
physician, an informed decision can be made.