The Journal of Arthroplasty, Volume 29, Issue 3, 520 - 524

Soft Tissue Balance Changes Depending on Joint Distraction Force in Total Knee Arthroplasty

Nagai, Kanto et al.

The influence of joint distraction force on intraoperative soft tissue balance was evaluated using Offset Repo-Tensor® for 78 knees that underwent primary posterior-stabilized total knee arthroplasty. The joint center gap and varus ligament balance were measured between osteotomized surfaces using 20, 40 and 60 lbs of joint distraction force. These values were significantly increased at extension and flexion as the distraction force increased. Furthermore, lateral compartment stiffness was significantly lower than medial compartment stiffness. Thus, larger joint distraction forces led to larger varus ligament balance and joint center gap, because of the difference in soft tissue stiffness between lateral and medial compartments. These findings indicate the importance of the strength of joint distraction force in the assessment of soft tissue balance, especially when using gap-balancing technique.

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