The Journal of Arthroplasty, Volume 34, Issue 12, 2925 - 2930

Preoperative Radiological Parameters Predicting the Need for Lateral Retinacular Release in Total Knee Arthroplasty

Rajkumar, Natesan et al.


Proper patellar tracking is essential for well-functioning total knee arthroplasty (TKA). Besides implanting components in the correct position and rotation, balancing parapatellar soft tissues is also important in aiding normal patellar tracking. Patellar maltracking during TKA can be improved by lateral retinacular release (LRR).


We studied the incidence of LRR in consecutive primary TKA with nonresurfaced patella and posterior-stabilized implant design. We analyzed data from 250 consecutive primary TKAs (212 patients) from January 2016 to May 2016. We evaluated the preoperative radiological parameters like patellar tilt, patellar shift, patellar morphology, Insall-Salvati ratio, femoro-tibial angle, distal femoral valgus angle, and proximal tibia varus angle which predict the need for LRR during TKA. We used multivariate regression analysis to find the association of individual radiological parameters and the LRR.


The need for LRR is significantly associated with preoperative radiological parameters like patellar shift and patellar tilt ( P < .001). Compared to the nonreleased group, the adjusted odds of LRR were greater for morphological parameters like Wiberg type 3 patella (odds ratio [OR] 17.45, 95% confidence interval [CI] 7.21-42.20), lateral facet thinning (OR 4.38, 95% CI 2.37-8.07), lateral patellofemoral arthritis (OR 14.36, 95% CI 6.82-30.23), and coronal valgus deformity (OR 4.95, 95% CI 1.60-10.68).


Preoperative assessment of these radiological parameters in the axial view implies a high chance of tight lateral retinacular structures. This helps in identifying patients who have a higher likelihood for patellar maltracking during TKA. Appropriate LRR helps to provide better patellar tracking post TKA.

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