Numbness Around the Total Knee Arthroplasty Surgical Scar: Prevalence and Effect on Functional Outcome

Arpit C. Jariwala, Avinash Parthasarathy, Manish Kiran (Lead / Corresponding author), Linda R. Johnston, David I. Rowley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Numbness around the surgical scar can be a source of discomfort or dissatisfaction in a proportion of patients undergoing total knee arthroplasty (TKA). Literature reports wide variation in its prevalence and the consequence of numbness on the outcome of TKA is not clear. We investigated the prevalence of numbness, along with contributing factors, and assessed its effect on the functional outcome of TKA.

Methods: In total, 258 knees were included in this prospective patient-reported outcome measure case-control study. Demographic details, type and length of incision, pre-operative and 1-year post-operative Knee Society Scores were recorded and compared.

Results: The prevalence of numbness at 1 year was 53%, with a female preponderance. Patients older than 70 years were less affected. Discomfort due to numbness was recorded in 8.7% of the patients, 75% of which were female. The length of the incision correlated positively with the presence of numbness. The Knee Society Scores did not correlate with the presence or area of numbness.

Conclusion: Our findings indicate a high prevalence of numbness after TKA. Nevertheless, numbness does not affect the functional outcome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2256-2261
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Arthroplasty
Issue number7
Early online date9 Feb 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2017


  • Journal article
  • Total knee arthroplasty
  • Numbness
  • Surgical incision
  • Surgical scar
  • Prevalence
  • Functional outcome


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