Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy May 2019, Volume 27, Issue 5, pp 1477–1486

The negative effect of joint line elevation after total knee arthroplasty on outcome

van Lieshout, W.A.M., Valkering, K.P., Koenraadt, K.L.M. et al.
Knee

Purpose

Total knee arthroplasty (TKA) is widely used as a treatment for knee osteoarthritis. However, still up to 20% of the patients are dissatisfied. Joint line elevation after TKA might be a contributing factor as it alters knee kinematics. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of joint line elevation on outcome.

 

Methods

A systematic review of the literature was performed to select studies that reported on joint line alterations after primary or revision TKA and outcome. Studies with comparable outcome parameters were included in a correlation analysis.

 

Results

In total, 396 studies were identified, of which 27 met the inclusion criteria. 8 studies could be included in the correlation analysis. Mean joint line elevation after primary TKA was 3.0 mm and after revision TKA this was 3.6 mm. A statistically significant negative correlation was found between joint line elevation and the postoperative Knee Society Score (KSS) function score (ρ = − 0.496, p < 0.001). In a pooled analysis, the maintained joint line revision TKA group had statistically significant better postoperative KSS total scores compared to an elevated joint line group (p < 0.001).

 

Conclusion

In this systematic review, a negative correlation between joint line elevation and outcome was found. Furthermore, revision TKAs with a maintained joint line have statistically significant better postoperative KSS scores compared to an elevated joint line group. To achieve optimal outcome after TKA, restoration of the joint line is one of the parameters that should be pursued and introduced elevation should not exceed 4 mm.

 

Level of evidence

IV.


Download article