The Journal of Arthroplasty , Volume 33 , Issue 10 , 3174 - 3180

Cutaneous Hypesthesia and Kneeling Ability After Total Knee Arthroplasty: A Randomized Controlled Trial Comparing Anterolateral and Anteromedial Skin Incision

Tsukada, Sachiyuki et al.
Knee

Background

Anterolateral skin incision can preserve the skin sensory of the anterior aspect of the knee and may improve kneeling ability after total knee arthroplasty (TKA).

Methods

This is a prospective, 2-arm, parallel-group, randomized, controlled trial involving patients scheduled for TKA. A total of 118 patients (162 knees) were randomly assigned to receive anterolateral skin incision or anteromedial skin incision with 1:1 treatment allocation. The surgical techniques other than skin incision were identical in both groups. The area of cutaneous hypesthesia was measured by a nonblinded assessor, and kneeling ability was evaluated by 2 blinded assessors at 12 months after surgery.

Results

The area of cutaneous hypesthesia was significantly smaller in the anterolateral skin incision group than the anteromedial skin incision group (3.0 ± 8.7 cm2 vs 10.6 ± 18.6 cm2; 95% confidence interval, 2.8-12.3 cm2P = .0019). The rates of patients judged to be able to kneel were significantly higher in the anterolateral skin incision group by both assessors (81% vs 60%; P = .025 and 81% vs 59%; P = .015, respectively) with almost perfect agreement between the 2 assessors (kappa value = 0.94). There were no significant differences in terms of complication rate, including wound complications, between the 2 groups (P > .05).

Conclusion

Compared with anteromedial skin incision, anterolateral skin incision may provide less cutaneous hypesthesia and better kneeling ability after TKA without increasing complication rate.


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