Patient, surgeon, health system, and device factors are all known to influence outcomes in total knee arthroplasty (TKA). However, patient-related factors associated with an increased risk of early failure are not well understood, particularly in elderly patients.


The purpose of this study was to identify specific comorbid conditions associated with increased risk of early revision in Medicare patients undergoing TKA.


A total of 117,903 Medicare patients who underwent primary TKA between 1998 and 2010 were identified from the Medicare 5% national sample administrative database and used to determine the relative risk of revision within 12 months after primary TKA as a function of baseline medical comorbidities. Cox regression was used to evaluate the impact of 29 comorbid conditions on risk of early failure controlling for age, sex, race, census region, socioeconomic status, and all other baseline comorbidities.


The most significant independent risk factors for revision TKA within 12 months were chronic pulmonary disease, depression, alcohol abuse, drug abuse, renal disease, hemiplegia or paraplegia, and obesity.


This information could be valuable to patients and their surgeons when making shared medical decisions regarding elective TKA and for risk-stratifying publicly reported outcomes in Medicare patients undergoing TKA.

Level of Evidence

Level II, prognostic study. See Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.