The success of total knee arthroplasty depends in part on proper soft tissue management to achieve a stable joint. It is unknown to what degree total knee arthroplasty changes joint stability. We used a surgical navigation system to intraoperatively measure joint stability in 24 patients under going primary total knee arthroplasty to address two questions: (1) Is the total arc of varus-valgus motion after total knee arthroplasty different from the arc of varus-valgus motion in an osteoarthritic knee? (2) Does total knee arthroplasty produce equal amounts of varus/valgus motion (ie, is the knee "balanced")? We observed no difference between the total arc of varus-valgus motion before and after total knee arthroplasty; the total amount of motion was unchanged. On average, osteoarthritic knees were "unbalanced" but were "balanced" after prosthesis implantation. We found a negative correlation between the relative amount of varus/valgus motion in extension before and after prosthesis implantation in extension and a positive correlation between how well the knees were balanced after prosthesis implantation in extension and in flexion. Our data suggest immediately after implantation knees retain a greater than normal amount of varus-valgus motion, but this motion is more evenly distributed.
View details for DOI 10.1097/BLO.0b013e318137a182
View details for PubMedID 17621236