Can high-flexion tibial inserts improve range of motion after posterior cruciate-retaining total knee arthroplasty?

Bradley D Crow, Julie C McCauley, Kace A Ezzet
Orthopedics 2010, 33 (9): 667
Interest in high-flexion total knee arthroplasty (TKA) prostheses designed to provide better postoperative range of motion (ROM) is widespread. We sought to determine whether changes in surface geometry of the tibial polyethylene insert could improve postoperative ROM in a consecutive series of patients undergoing TKA with retention of the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL). Two cohorts with Smith & Nephew (Memphis, Tennessee) Posterior Cruciate-Retaining Genesis II total knee prostheses were compared, 79 knees (65 patients) using standard tibial inserts and 85 knees (72 patients) using high-flexion inserts. The standard insert has a slightly raised posterior lip, whereas the high-flexion insert is recessed downward at the posterior margin to facilitate femoral rollback in flexion and eliminate impingement of the femoral component on the back of the polyethylene during rollback. Mean ROM 1 year postoperatively was 112.0° in patients receiving the standard insert and 119.3° in patients receiving the high-flexion insert. Preoperative ROM was similar in both groups. Flexion improvement in the high-flexion group over the standard insert group was statistically significant (P<.001). Final Knee Society Scores did not differ amongst patients receiving the standard and high-flexion inserts. Our study demonstrates that improved postoperative flexion can be achieved without changing surgical technique, bony cuts, or metallic prosthetic parts. This is the first report that we are aware of that documents improvement in ROM after PCL-retaining TKA through the use of high-flexion inserts.

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