The Knee, ISSN: 1873-5800, Vol: 22, Issue: 1, Page: 51-5

The risk of sacrificing the PCL in cruciate retaining total knee arthroplasty and the relationship to the sagittal inclination of the tibial plateau

Sessa, Pasquale; Fioravanti, Giulio; Giannicola, Giuseppe; Cinotti, Gianluca
Knee

Background

In cruciate retaining total knee arthroplasty (TKA), a partial avulsion of PCL may occur when en-bloc tibial osteotomy is performed. We evaluated the effects of a tibial cut performed with different degrees of posterior slope on PCL insertion and whether the results are affected by the sagittal inclination of the patient’s tibial plateau.

Methods

We selected 83 MRIs of knees showing mild or no degenerative changes. The effects of a simulated tibial cut performed with a posterior slope of 0°, 3°, 5° and parallel to the patient’s tibial plateau inclination on PCL insertion in the proximal tibia were investigated. The results were correlated with the degree of posterior inclination of the tibial plateau.

Results

Every angle we used for the tibial cut caused a PCL avulsion greater than 50%. The percentage of PCL avulsion significantly increased with increasing the posterior slope of the tibial cut. Patients with sagittal tibial plateau inclination < 5° showed greater PCL avulsion than those with sagittal inclination > 8°.

Conclusions

Most of the PCL insertion is likely to be sacrificed when resection of the proximal tibia is performed en-block. The risk of PCL avulsion is reduced in patients showing a marked posterior inclination of the tibial plateau, but even in this group of patients a surgical technique aimed at sparing most of the PCL insertion is necessary.

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