Anatomic variations should be considered in total knee arthroplasty

R Nagamine, H Miura, C V Bravo, K Urabe, S Matsuda, K Miyanishi, G Hirata, Y Iwamoto
Journal of Orthopaedic Science: Official Journal of the Japanese Orthopaedic Association 2000, 5 (3): 232-7
The effect of anatomic variations on the operative techniques used in total knee arthroplasty (TKA) was assessed. In 133 Japanese patients with medial osteoarthritis (OA), six parameters were measured on anteroposterior radiographs of the lower extremities taken with the patients in the supine position. The results showed that the characteristics of the knees were bowing of the femoral shaft and proximal tibia vara, with lateral offset of the tibial shaft with respect to the center of the tibial plateau. The angle between a perpendicular to the mechanical axis and the tangent to the distal femoral condyles can be used in determining the external rotation of the femoral component. This angle was more than 3 degrees in 20% of the patients. The femoral component should therefore be externally rotated more than 3 degrees relative to the posterior condylar line in such patients. Because the center of the tibial plateau is located medial to the central line of the tibial shaft in knees with medial OA, the central point of the tibial articular surface should not be used for alignment of the tibial component. The medial offset stem of the tibial component may impinge against the medial wall. Anatomic variations should be evaluated before TKA is attempted.

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