Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy November 2017, Volume 25, Issue 11, pp 3536–3542

Anteroposterior translation and range of motion after total knee arthroplasty using posterior cruciate ligament-retaining versus posterior cruciate ligament-substituting prostheses

Ishii, Y., Noguchi, H., Sato, J. et al.


It is still controversial whether anteroposterior (AP) translation magnitude after total knee arthroplasty (TKA) affects clinical outcomes, particularly range of motion (ROM). This study examined the following two questions: (1) are AP translations at the mid- and long-term follow-up different for knees within the same patient treated with posterior cruciate ligament-retaining (PCLR) versus posterior cruciate ligament-substituting (PCLS) mobile-bearing TKA prosthesis designs? (2) Is the ROM at the mid- and long-term follow-up for knees treated with PCLR and PCLS designs correlated with the AP translation?



Thirty-seven patients undergoing sequential bilateral TKA for osteoarthritis were prospectively enrolled. Patients received a PCLR implant in one knee and a PCLS implant in the other and were followed-up for an average 9.8 ± 3.2 years. The AP translations at 30° and 75° of knee flexion and the ROM of both knees were assessed.



The implant design (p < 0.001), but not flexion angle (n.s.), had a significant effect on AP translation. AP translation values were larger in PCLR knees than in PCLS knees at both flexion angles (p < 0.0001). The ROM at the final follow-up in the two implant designs was similar (both 115°, n.s.). There was a weak correlation between ROM and AP translation at 30° in the PCLR knees (r = 0.397, p = 0.015), but no correlation at 75° or in the PCLS knees.



Differently constrained prosthesis designs resulted in significantly different AP translational values within the same patient. This indicates that achieving good clinical outcomes and ROM after TKA may not be strongly influenced by the specifics of each patient’s anatomical characteristics, but instead by knee constrainment. Clinically, this means that surgeons should familiarize themselves with the AP translation of the implant being used, as this may be the most important factor for optimizing outcomes after mobile-bearing TKA.


Level of evidence II, prospective, comparative study.

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