© 2011 Orthopaedic Research Society Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Orthop Res 29: 969–975, 2011

Biomechanical effects of total knee arthroplasty component malrotation: A computational simulation

Julie A. Thompson Michael W. Hast Jeffrey F. Granger Stephen J. Piazza Robert A. Siston

Modern total knee arthroplasty (TKA) is an effective procedure to treat pain and disability due to osteoarthritis, but some patients experience quadriceps weakness after surgery and have difficulty performing important activities of daily living. The success of TKA depends on many factors, but malalignment of the prosthetic components is a major cause of postoperative complications. Significant variability is associated with femoral and tibial component rotational alignment, but how this variability translates into functional outcome remains unknown. We used a forward‐dynamic computer model of a simulated squatting motion to perform a parametric study of the effects of variations in component rotational alignment in TKA. A cruciate‐retaining and posterior‐stabilized version of the same TKA implant were compared. We found that femoral rotation had a greater effect on quadriceps forces, collateral ligament forces, and varus/valgus kinematics, while tibial rotation had a greater effect on anteroposterior translations. Our findings support the tendency for orthopedic surgeons to bias the femoral component into external rotation and avoid malrotation of the tibial component.

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