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Worker compensation status increases the risk for presence of pain in the contralateral knee at final follow-up after arthroscopic knee surgery
  1. Carola Francisca van Eck1,
  2. Drew Burleson2,
  3. Daniel Fariborz Kharrazi2
  1. 1 Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Univeristy of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
  2. 2 Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Kerlan Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic, Los Angeles, California, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr. Carola Francisca van Eck, Univeristy of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15206, USA; carola_francisca{at}


Objectives In patients undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery, it is not uncommon to complain of pain in both the ipsilateral and the contralateral knee. The primary aim of the present study was to evaluate the prevalence of contralateral knee pain in patients undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery. The secondary aim was to identify risk factors for contralateral knee pain in this population.

Methods All patient who underwent arthroscopic knee surgery between 2015 and 2017 were included. The prevalence of pain in the contralateral knee prior to and at the final follow-up after ipsilateral knee surgery was assessed. The following potential risk factors for contralateral knee pain were evaluated: age, gender, worker comp status, duration of symptoms, pre-operative diagnosis, activity level, history of a fall, use of a walking aid and findings during surgery.

Results A total of 142 patients met the inclusion criteria. The average age was 45±11 years, 104 patients (73%) were men. Prior to the surgery on the ipsilateral knee, only 1 patient (<1%) reported pain in the contralateral knee, which increased to 113 patients (80%) at final follow-up surgery. Of the assessed risk factors, only worker compensation status was significant for the development of contralateral knee pain (OR 2.93 95% CI 1.08 to 7.95, p=0.040).

Conclusion Pain in the contralateral knee is uncommon prior to arthroscopic knee surgery, but common after. The risk for the development of contralateral knee pain is increased if the index injury was workers compensation related.

Level of evidence Level IV case series.

  • knee
  • arthroscopy
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  • Contributors All authors contributed to the preparation of this work.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Disclaimer The author states that this manuscript is an original work only submitted to this journal.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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