BACKGROUND: This study investigated the effect of socioeconomic deprivation on preoperative disease and outcome following unicompartmental knee replacement (UKR).
METHODS: 307 Oxford UKRs implanted between 2008 and 2013 under the care of one surgeon using the same surgical technique were analysed. Deprivation was quantified using the Northern Ireland Multiple Deprivation Measure. Preoperative disease severity and postoperative outcome were measured using the Oxford Knee Score (OKS).
RESULTS: There was no difference in preoperative OKS between deprivation groups. Preoperative knee range of motion (ROM) was significantly reduced in more deprived patients with 10° less ROM than least deprived patients. Postoperatively there was no difference in OKS improvement between deprivation groups (p=0.46), with improvements of 19.5 and 21.0 units in the most and least deprived groups respectively. There was no significant association between deprivation and OKS improvement on unadjusted or adjusted analysis. Preoperative OKS, Short Form 12 mental component score and length of stay were significant independent predictors of OKS improvement. A significantly lower proportion of the most deprived group (15%) reported being able to walk an unlimited distance compared to the least deprived group (41%) one year postoperatively.
CONCLUSION: More deprived patients can achieve similar improvements in OKS to less deprived patients following UKR.
LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: 2b - retrospective cohort study of prognosis.