Computer-navigated minimally invasive total knee arthroplasty for patients with retained implants in the femur

Sung-Yen Lin, Chung-Hwan Chen, Peng-Ju Huang, Yin-Chih Fu, Hsuan-Ti Huang
Kaohsiung Journal of Medical Sciences 2014, 30 (8): 415-21
Total knee arthroplasty (TKA) in patients with knee arthritis and retained implants in the ipsilateral femur is a challenge for knee surgeons. Use of a conventional intramedullary femoral cutting guide is not practical because of the obstruction of the medullary canal by implants. Previous studies have shown that computer-assisted surgery (CAS) can help restore alignment in conventional TKA for patients with knee arthritis with retained femoral implants or extra-articular deformity, without the need for implant removal or osteotomy. However, little has been published regarding outcomes with the use of navigation in minimally invasive surgery (MIS)-TKA for patients with this complex knee arthritis. MIS has been proven to provide less postoperative pain and faster recovery than conventional TKA, but MIS-TKA in patients with retained femoral implants poses a greater risk in limb malalignment. The purpose of this study is to report the outcome of CAS-MIS-TKA in patients with knee arthritis and retained femoral implants. Between April 2006 and March 2008, eight patients with knee arthritis and retained femoral implants who underwent the CAS-MIS-TKA were retrospectively reviewed. Three of the eight patients had extra-articular deformity, including two femur bones and one tibia bone, in the preoperative examination. The anteroposterior, lateral, and long-leg weight-bearing radiographs carried out at 3-month follow-up was used to determine the mechanical axis of lower limb and the position of components. The mean preoperative femorotibial angle in patients without extra-articular deformity was 3.8° of varus and was corrected to 4.6° of valgus. With the use of navigation in MIS-TKA, the two patients in this study with extra-articular femoral deformity also obtained an ideal postoperative mechanical axis within 2° of normal alignment. Overall, there was a good restoration of postoperative mechanical alignment in all cases, with a mean angle of 0.4° of varus. No limb malalignment or component malposition was found. In clinical assessments, there were also significant improvements in knee specific scores, functional scores, and motion arc. The results of this study suggest that navigation can help achieve accurate alignment and proper prosthesis positioning in MIS-TKA for patients with retained femoral implants and for whom intramedullary rod guidance is impractical.

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