Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy October 2016, Volume 24, Issue 10, pp 3306–3312

The role of wound closure in total knee arthroplasty: a systematic review on knee position

Cerciello, S., Morris, B.J., Lustig, S. et al.


Post-operative range of motion (ROM) is one of the most important parameters to assess, following total knee arthroplasty (TKA). The aims of the present systematic review were to analyse the available literature and determine if closing the knee in flexion or extension influences post-operative ROM, clinical outcomes, and complications following TKA.



A systematic review was performed using the keywords “total knee arthroplasty”, “total knee replacement”, and “wound closure” or “joint closure” or “extension” or “flexion” with no limit regarding the year of publication. The review was limited to the English-language articles, and each article was evaluated with a modified Coleman Methodology Score (mCMS).



Six articles met inclusion criteria. The initial cohort included 202 TKAs in the flexion group and 201 in the extension group. Three hundred and ninety-seven TKAs were evaluated with an average follow-up of 8 months. There was no statistical difference (n.s.) between the two groups in terms of the average post-operative flexion. There were no statistical differences between the two groups regarding post-operative functional scores and VAS scores (n.s.). The average mCMS was 70.9, indicating good methodological quality in the included studies.



The findings of the present review did not show any statistically significant differences in terms of post-operative flexion ROM, functional scores, or complications related to the position of the knee at the time of joint and wound closure during TKA. There is no clear advantage to either closure method based on the currently available evidence, and therefore, this choice should be based on surgeon preference.

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