Lawsuits After Primary and Revision Total Knee Arthroplasty

A Malpractice Claims Analysis

Diana C. Patterson, MD; Ronald Grelsamer, MD; Michael J. Bronson, MD; Calin S. Moucha, MD


J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2017;25(10):e235-e242. 

In This Article


We looked at a collection of cases from a single malpractice carrier across a 30-year span. Patient dissatisfaction, allegations of improper surgery, wound complications, footdrop, and vascular injuries were the major reasons for malpractice suits after TKA. With the increasing prevalence of TKA, orthopaedic surgeons should continue to focus on both preventing these complications and educating patients preoperatively about the risks of surgery—in particular, incomplete satisfaction and lack of full pain relief. One future consideration could be the creation by a respected orthopaedic society of a standard preoperative template to standardize the informed consent process and strike a comfortable medium between fully informing a patient and losing that patient to fear or competing surgeons.