Acta Orthopaedica, 88:3, 282-287, DOI: 10.1080/17453674.2017.1297001

Tibial component rotation around the transverse axis measured by radiostereometry predicts aseptic loosening better than maximal total point motion – A follow-up of 116 total knee arthroplasties after at least 15 years

Asgeir Gudnason, Gunnar Adalberth, Kjell-Gunnar Nilsson & Nils P Hailer

Background and purpose — Maximal total point motion (MTPM) measured by radiostereometry (RSA) is widely used as a predictor of total knee arthroplasty (TKA) loosening. We compared the ability of different RSA measurements at different time points to predict loosening of tibial TKA components in the long term.

Patients and methods — 116 TKAs in 116 patients were included in our analysis. 16 (14.8–17.4) years after surgery, 5 tibial components had been revised due to aseptic loosening. Receiver operating characteristic curves were calculated in order to investigate the specificity and sensitivity of different RSA parameters at different thresholds.

Results — Rotation around the transverse (x-) axis measured 2 years postoperatively had the best predictive value of all parameters, with an area under the curve (AUC) of 80%. Using a threshold of 0.8 degrees, a specificity of 85% and a sensitivity of 50% were reached. The AUC for tibial component distal translation was 79% and it was 77% for proximal translation, whereas it was only 68% for MTPM.

Interpretation — Rotation of the cemented tibial component around the transverse axis, proximal translation, and distal translation are slightly better at predicting aseptic loosening than MTPM, and tibial component migration measured after 2 years gives a good prediction of aseptic loosening up to 15 years.

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