Bone Joint J 2019;101-B:929–940.

A randomized controlled trial of tibial component migration with kinematic alignment using patient-specific instrumentation versus mechanical alignment using computer-assisted surgery in total knee arthroplasty

E. K. Laende, C. G. Richardson, M. J. Dunbar


Patient-specific instrumentation of total knee arthroplasty (TKA) is a technique permitting the targeting of individual kinematic alignment, but deviation from a neutral mechanical axis may have implications on implant fixation and therefore survivorship. The primary objective of this randomized controlled study was to compare the fixation of tibial components implanted with patient-specific instrumentation targeting kinematic alignment (KA+PSI) versus components placed using computer-assisted surgery targeting neutral mechanical alignment (MA+CAS). Tibial component migration measured by radiostereometric analysis was the primary outcome measure (compared longitudinally between groups and to published acceptable thresholds). Secondary outcome measures were inducible displacement after one year and patient-reported outcome measures (PROMS) over two years. The secondary objective was to assess the relationship between alignment and both tibial component migration and inducible displacement.

Patients and Methods

A total of 47 patients due to undergo TKA were randomized to KA+PSI (n = 24) or MA+CAS (n = 23). In the KA+PSI group, there were 16 female and eight male patients with a mean age of 64 years (sd 8). In the MA+CAS group, there were 17 female and six male patients with a mean age of 63 years (sd 7). Surgery was performed using cemented, cruciate-retaining Triathlon total knees with patellar resurfacing, and patients were followed up for two years. The effect of alignment on tibial component migration and inducible displacement was analyzed irrespective of study group.


There was no difference over two years in longitudinal migration of the tibial component between the KA+PSI and MA+CAS groups (reaching median maximum total point motion migration at two years of 0.40 mm for the KA+PSI group and 0.37 mm for the MA+CAS group, p = 0.82; p = 0.68 adjusted for age, sex, and body mass index (BMI) for all follow-ups). Both groups had mean migrations below acceptable thresholds. There was no difference in inducible displacement (p = 0.34) or PROMS (p = 0.61 for the Oxford Knee Score) between groups. There was no correlation between alignment and tibial component migration or alignment and inducible displacement. These findings support non-neutral alignment as a viable option with this component, with no evidence that it compromises fixation.


Kinematic alignment using patient-specific instrumentation in TKA was associated with acceptable tibial component migration, indicating stable fixation. These results are supportive of future investigations of kinematic alignment.

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