Traditional orthopaedic thinking dictates that performing total knee arthroplasty (TKA) in patients with relatively early stages of osteoarthritis (OA) will lead to a poor outcome. Our goal was to test this perception, using radiologic parameters as a marker of the degree of OA. Our study involved 130 consecutive patients who underwent TKA for OA. The radiographs of each patient were graded according to the Ahlback classification. Outcome was measured prospectively using the Oxford Knee Score (OKS), which was recorded both preoperatively and 1 year after surgery. The degree of radiologic OA changes preoperatively was not found to influence the outcome of surgery at 1 year, with all patient groups improving to a similar extent. In addition, as has been seen in previous studies, no correlation was found between symptoms of OA and radiologic appearances. The results of this study would support a re-evaluation of traditional orthopaedic practice. This conclusion coincides with other recent work that suggests that TKA is underused and is performed too late in the natural history of OA of the kne
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