The Journal of Arthroplasty , Volume 33 , Issue 8 , 2684 - 2693

Clinical Outcomes of Gap Balancing vs Measured Resection in Total Knee Arthroplasty: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis Involving 2259 Subjects

Li, Shuxiang et al.


The argument on the clinical effects between gap balancing (GB) and measured resection (MR) in total knee arthroplasty remains to be resolved. A systematic review and meta-analysis was performed to investigate which technique in total knee arthroplasty has better clinical effect.


A total of 20 studies involving 2259 cases were included in the meta-analysis. The primary outcome measure was Knee Society Score (KSS), whereas the secondary outcomes included other function assessment systems (eg, range of motion, Western Ontario and McMaster University Osteoarthritis Index), radiological outcomes (eg, femoral component rotation, total outliers), revision rate, complications (eg, infection, loosening, instability), and surgical time.


The GB technique was associated with statistically significant increases in the primary outcomes of KSS-function in 1 year. However, a mean difference of 2.12 points was below the minimal clinically important difference of 6 points. No differences were found in the analyses of KSS-knee and KSS-function in any other follow-up periods. Secondary outcome assessments showed significant decreased surgical time (mean difference, 16.18; P < .00001) for MR. Although statistically significant difference in favor of GB was identified in total outliers (risk ratio, 1.72, P = .0004), the 2 techniques were comparable in range of motion, Western Ontario and McMaster University Osteoarthritis Index, femoral component rotation, complications, and revision rate.


We conclude that both techniques can result in equivalent results when done properly, and each surgeon must understand the strengths and weaknesses of each technique.

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