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.
- Journal article
- Total knee arthroplasty
- Surgical incision
- Surgical scar
- Functional outcome