Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy June 2017, Volume 25, Issue 6, pp 1736–1742

The medial border of the tibial tuberosity as an auxiliary tool for tibial component rotational alignment during total knee arthroplasty (TKA)

Drexler, M., Backstein, D., Studler, U. et al.


The objective of this study was to quantify the amount of ensuing internal rotation of the tibial component when positioned along the medial border of the tibial tubercle, thus establishing a reproducible intraoperative reference for tibial component rotational alignment during total knee arthroplasty (TKA).



The angle formed from the tibial geometric centre to the intersection of both lines from the middle of the tibial tuberosity and its medial border was measured in 50 patients. The geometric centre was determined on an axial CT slice at 10 mm below the lateral tibial plateau and transposed to a slice at the level of the most prominent part of the tibial tuberosity. Similar measurements were taken in 25 patients after TKA, in order to simulate the intraoperative appearance of the tibia after making its proximal resection.



This angle was found to be similar (n.s.) in normal and post-TKA tibiae [median 20.4° (range 15°–24°) vs. 20.7° (range 16°–25°), respectively]. In 89.3 % of the patients, the angle ranged from 17° to 24°. No statistical difference (p n.s.) was found between women and men in both normal [median −20.7° (range 16°–25°) vs. 19.9° (range 15°–24°)] and post-TKA tibiae [median 21.4° (range 19°–24°) vs. 20° (range 16°–25°)].



This study found that in 90 % of the patients, the medial border of the tibial tuberosity is internally rotated 17°–24° in relation to the line connecting the middle of the tuberosity to the tibial geometric centre. Since this anatomical landmark may be more easily identifiable intraoperatively than the commonly used “medial 1/3”, it can provide a better quantitative reference point and help surgeons achieve a more accurate tibial implant rotational position.


Level of evidence

Cohort and case control studies, Level III.

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