Radiographic and scintigraphic evaluation of total knee arthroplasty.
Various radiographic and scintigraphic methods are used to supplement clinical findings in the evaluation of total knee arthroplasty and its complications. Serial roentgenograms offer reliable information for diagnosing mechanical loosening. Wide and extensive radiolucency at the cement-bone interface and shift in position and alignment of prosthetic components can be seen in almost all cases by the time revision is necessary. Radiographic abnormalities are usually not present in acute infection, but are often present in chronic infection. Bone scanning has a high sensitivity for diagnosis of infection or loosening, but is nonspecific because increased uptake is often present around asymptomatic total knee arthroplasties with normal radiographs. Differential bone and Gallium scanning and scanning with Indium 111-labeled leukocytes have a greater specificity for diagnosis of infection than does bone or Gallium scanning alone. Routine radiographic and scintigraphic studies have shown a high incidence of deep vein thrombosis in the calf after total knee arthroplasty. Clinically significant pulmonary embolization is infrequent.