This paper is based on the study of the records of 211 patients for whom the knee joint had been resected for tuberculosis. Definite information as to the end results was obtained concerning 194 patients. There was no operative mortality. One hundred and seventy-one patients (88.3 per cent.) secured firm bony union with good function. Union failed in twenty-two cases (11.3 per cent.). In four of these the bones were induced to unite by a bone graft, thus leaving eighteen (9.2 per cent.) in which union did not occur. The use of the bone graft as a routine and the improved technique of operation should give a lower percentage of non-union than is presented in the foregoing data. In five cases of the group, amputation was performed subsequently; in four, on account of continued drainage and non-union, and in one case, on account of non-union which might have been remedied by a bone graft. Of the 194 patients traced 177 are living; seventeen (8.7 per cent.) are dead. All but two of the seventeen died from extension of the tuberculosis; they lived an average of four and one-half years. The operation relieves the patients of a painful, distressing condition and restores them practically to full activity, so they can again take their place in industrial life.
Section on Orthopaedic Surgery, Mayo Clinic