Acta Orthopaedica, 88:6, 657-663, DOI: 10.1080/17453674.2017.1362733

A simple method for accurate rotational positioning of the femoral component in total knee arthroplasty

Eirik Aunan, Daniel Østergaard, Arn Meland, Ketil Dalheim & Leiv Sandvik

Background and purpose — There are many techniques for placing the femoral component in correct rotational alignment in total knee arthroplasty (TKA), but only a few have been tested against the supposed gold standard, rotation determined by postoperative computed tomography (CT). We evaluated the accuracy and variability of a new method, the clinical rotational axis (CRA) method, and assessed the association between the CRA and knee function.

Patients and methods — The CRA is a line derived from clinical judgement of information from the surgical transepicondylar axis, the anteroposterior axis, and the posterior condylar line. The CRA was used to guide the rotational positioning of the femoral component in 80 knees (46 female). At 3 years follow-up, the rotation of the femoral component was compared with the CT-derived surgical transepicondylar axis (CTsTEA) by 3 observers. Functional outcome was assessed with the Knee Injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (KOOS), the Oxford Knee Score (OKS) and patient satisfaction (VAS).

Results — The mean (95% CI) rotational deviation of the femoral component from the CTsTEA was 0.2° (–0.15°–0.55°). The standard deviation (95% CI) was 1.58° (1.36°–1.85°) and the range was from 3.7° internal rotation to 3.7° external rotation. No statistically significant association was found between femoral component rotation and KOOS, OKS, or VAS.

Interpretation — The CRA method was found to be accurate with a low grade of variability.

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