Retrospective Study by Novartis: Patient Outcomes & Costs Related to Muscle Atrophy & Weakness Post Total Knee Replacement

A study of 100,000 TKA patients by Novartis (study link) showed the following:

  • Quadriceps muscle atrophy and weakness (MAW) is a common problem for TKR patients.
  • Previous studies have indicated that MAW exists among some TKR patients even before TKR surgery and that patients are likely to have profound quadriceps MAW from 1 month to 12 months after the TKR procedure.
  • The average TKR patient is likely to experience an approximately 60% reduction in quadriceps strength after surgery.
  • It has been shown to be associated with poorer functioning up to 2 years after the TKR.
  • Pre- and post MAW cohorts were more likely to have used an SNF or to have received an occupational therapy in the post-period.
  • In the post-index period, both the pre- and post MAW patients had significantly higher total health care costs than the no MAW patients.
  • Patients with muscle atrophy weakness were significantly more likely to be hospitalized in the following 12 months for a replacement-related readmission than those without muscle atrophy.
  • Patients with muscle atrophy post TKA had up to 2.7x  longer hospital stays than patients without muscle atrophy.
  • Patients developing MAW during or after TKR had the greatest increase in health care costs.