The Journal of Arthroplasty, Volume 31, Issue 10, 2167 - 2172

Does 3-Dimensional In Vivo Component Rotation Affect Clinical Outcomes in Unicompartmental Knee Arthroplasty?

Liow, Ming Han Lincoln et al.


Unicompartmental knee arthroplasty (UKA) is an effective treatment for single-compartment osteoarthritis. Limited studies have examined the relationship between component rotation and functional outcomes, with no existing consensus to guide “optimal” UKA component rotation. Our study aims to study the effect of 3-dimensional (3D) in vivo UKA component axial rotation on functional outcomes by determining (1) how much component axial rotation variability exists in UKA? and (2) does 3D in vivo UKA component axial rotation affect functional outcomes?


Sixty-six UKAs from 58 consecutive patients (36 male [62.1%], age 63.7 ± 9.2 years, body mass index 28.2 ± 4.9 kg/m2, and mean follow-up time 49.2 months) were imaged in weight-bearing standing position using biplanar radiography. We performed multiple comparisons to analyze the relationship between 3D UKA component alignment and European Quality of Life – 5 Dimensions (EQ-5D), UCLA activity score, and Knee Injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Scores.


Significant improvements in EQ-5D, EQ-5D (United States adjusted), and Knee Injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Scores (Sport/Rec) scores were noted postoperatively. However, high variability in 3D UKA femoral (6.2° ± 6.5°) and tibial (4.6° ± 6.4°) component positioning was observed. A trend toward better outcome scores in lower angles of femoral (<2.7° external rotation [ER]) and tibial (2.7° ER to 2.4° internal rotation [IR]) component rotation was noted, with better functional scores observed at mean femoral and tibial rotation angles of 3° ER to 3° IR.


Patients with UKA femoral and/or tibial component rotation angles within 3° ER to 3° IR of neutral component alignment reported better functional outcomes. Surgeons should be cognizant of the high variability noted in UKA component axial rotation and its potential correlation with functional scores.

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