The Knee, ISSN: 0968-0160, Vol: 27, Issue: 6, Page: 1735-1745

Lateral subvastus lateralis versus medial parapatellar approach for total knee arthroplasty: A cadaveric biomechanical study

Sidhu, Sahil Prabhnoor; Moslemian, Alireza; Yamomo, Geofrey; Vakili, Samira; Kelly, Paul; Willing, Ryan T; Lanting, Brent A


The standard of care for total knee arthroplasty (TKA) is a medial parapatellar approach (MPA). We aimed to study a novel lateral subvastus lateralis approach (SLA), which offers the benefit of keeping the extensor mechanism and medial soft tissues intact. To ensure the approach could be used safely in vivo, a biomechanical study was performed to assess whether the joint kinematics would be preserved after performing a TKA.


A biomechanical study was conducted using 14 fresh-frozen cadaveric knees, with seven specimens each for the MPA and SLA. After a single radius, cemented cruciate retaining TKA was performed, specimens were tested on a VIVO joint motion simulator to measure and compare anterior/posterior, internal/external, and varus/valgus kinematics and laxity.


There was no significant difference in joint kinematics or laxity between the SLA and MPA groups.


Both the SLA and MPA offer similar knee kinematics and laxity based on a cadaveric model. Although the surgical approach was different, inherently releasing different ligaments, both approaches resulted in a stable knee. This suggests that either approach will enable the surgeon to provide a stable knee, and that the implant itself may contribute a significant portion of the knee’s kinematics.

Download article