© 2019 The Authors Journal of Orthopaedic Research. Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Orthop Res 37:1537–1545, 2019.

Pre‐operative prediction of soft tissue balancing in knee arthoplasty part 1: Effect of surgical parameters during level walking

Marco Viceconti Daniele Ascani Claudia Mazzà

An important reason for poor functional outcome of Total Knee Arthroplasty is inadequate soft tissue balancing. Custom‐made cutting guides or computer‐aided surgical navigation make possible to accurately achieve what is planned; the challenge is to perform a pre‐operative planning that properly accounts for soft‐tissue balancing. The first step in the development of a patient‐specific computer model that can predict during pre‐operative planning the post‐operative soft‐tissue balancing is a better understanding of the role that cutting heights and angles have on the balancing of the soft tissues after TKA as the patient perform the more common daily tasks. In the present study, we conducted a sensitivity analysis of the ligament elongations during level walking due to TKA as a function of position and orientation of the cutting guides, by means of a validated patient‐specific dynamic model of the post‐TKA knee biomechanics. The results suggest a considerable sensitivity of the collateral ligaments elongation to the surgical variables, and in particular to the varus‐valgus angles of both tibia and femur. This complete elongation map can be used as a baseline for the development of reduced‐order models to be integrated in pre‐operative planning environments.

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