Are people following hip and knee arthroplasty at greater risk of experiencing a fall and fracture? Data from the Osteoarthritis Initiative

Toby Smith, Matthew Pearson, Sarah Latham

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Introduction: Falls are a major challenge for older people and are a significant source of mortality and morbidity. There has been uncertainty as to whether people with total hip (THA) or knee (TKA) arthroplasty have a greater risk of falls and associated fractures. This analysis was to explore this question with a large community dataset. Materials and Methods: Data from all people enrolled onto the US Osteoarthritis Initiative programme who had undergone a THA (n=104) or TKA (n=165), within a 12 month period, were compared to those who had not undergone an arthroplasty (n=4631). Data was collected on: the number of participants who reported a fall within a 12 month period; the frequency of falls in this period; and whether a fracture was sustained during this period. Odd ratios were calculated for the probability of experiencing a fall or fracture between the groups. Results: There was no statistical difference in falls between people following THA (OR 0.90; 95% CI: 0.58 to 1.41) or TKA (OR: 0.95; 0.67 to 1.35) compared to a non-arthroplasty cohort. Whilst there was no statistical difference in fracture risk between people following TKA compared to non-arthroplasty individuals (OR: 1.25; 95% CI: 0.57 to 2.70), those who underwent THA had a 65% lower chance of experiencing a fracture in the initial 12 post-operative months compared to the non-THA cohort (OR 0.35; 95% CI: 0.19 to 0.65; p<0.01). Conclusions: There appears a lower chance of experiencing a fracture for people following THA compared to those who have not.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)865-872
Number of pages8
JournalArchives of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery
Issue number6
Early online date19 Mar 2016
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2016


  • lower limb
  • joint replacement
  • osteoarthritis
  • community-dwelling
  • trauma
  • rehabilitation

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