The Journal of Arthroplasty, Volume 35, Issue 3, 732 - 740

Comparison of Gap Balancing vs Measured Resection Technique in Patients Undergoing Simultaneous Bilateral Total Knee Arthroplasty: One Technique per Knee

Tapasvi, Sachin R. et al.
Knee

Background

Total knee arthroplasty requires careful surgical technique to attain the goal of a well-aligned and symmetrically balanced knee. Soft tissue balance and correct femoral component rotation are paramount in achieving these goals. The two competing techniques to select femoral component rotation and soft tissue balance are the gap balance technique and the measured resection technique.

Methods

We performed a randomized, prospective study to compare the two techniques in patients undergoing simultaneous bilateral total knee arthroplasty, whereby one technique was performed in each knee. Fifty (50) subjects were enrolled into the study. The inclusion criteria were osteoarthritic varus knee deformities with similar deformities in both knees. Subjects were followed up for a minimum of two years.

Results

The knees balanced via the gap balance technique had significantly more posterior medial bone removed from the femur than those knees balanced via the measured resection technique (P < .001). Knees in the gap balance group tended to require more medial knee releases in extension and tended to have smaller sized femoral components as a result of cutting more bone from the femur in flexion. The modular tibial polyethylene bearing tended to be thicker in the gap balance group. Despite these differences, average knee flexion and functional revised Oxford Knee Scores at 2-year follow-up were not statistically different.

Conclusion

At 2-year follow-up, there were no differences between the function and scores using the two techniques. Long-term follow-up will be necessary to evaluate any differences in long-term durability.

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