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PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to develop and validate a prediction model for 90-day mortality following a total knee replacement (TKR). TKR is a safe and cost-effective surgical procedure for treating severe knee osteoarthritis (OA). Although complications following surgery are rare, prediction tools could help identify high-risk patients who could be targeted with preventative interventions. The aim was to develop and validate a simple model to help inform treatment choices. METHODS: A mortality prediction model for knee OA patients following TKR was developed and externally validated using a US claims database and a UK general practice database. The target population consisted of patients undergoing a primary TKR for knee OA, aged ≥ 40 years and registered for ≥ 1 year before surgery. LASSO logistic regression models were developed for post-operative (90-day) mortality. A second mortality model was developed with a reduced feature set to increase interpretability and usability. RESULTS: A total of 193,615 patients were included, with 40,950 in The Health Improvement Network (THIN) database and 152,665 in Optum. The full model predicting 90-day mortality yielded AUROC of 0.78 when trained in OPTUM and 0.70 when externally validated on THIN. The 12 variable model achieved internal AUROC of 0.77 and external AUROC of 0.71 in THIN. CONCLUSIONS: A simple prediction model based on sex, age, and 10 comorbidities that can identify patients at high risk of short-term mortality following TKR was developed that demonstrated good, robust performance. The 12-feature mortality model is easily implemented and the performance suggests it could be used to inform evidence based shared decision-making prior to surgery and targeting prophylaxis for those at high risk. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: III.

Original publication




Journal article


Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc

Publication Date



Clinical decision aid, Knee arthroplasty, Mortality, Prediction, Risk model, Surgery