Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy September 2017, Volume 25, Issue 9, pp 2825–2834

Unconstrained total knee arthroplasty in significant valgus deformity: a modified surgical technique to balance the knee and avoid instability

Pagoti, R., O’Brien, S., Doran, E. et al.


Correction of valgus deformity in total knee arthroplasty (TKA) is technically challenging and has produced variable results. A modified surgical technique involving adapting the distal femoral cut with minimal soft tissue release is proposed. The authors hypothesise that using this technique would result in satisfactory radiological and functional outcome.



The technique involves balancing the knee in extension by changing the distal femoral resection angle and confining soft tissue release to only the posterolateral capsule if required. Retrospective analysis of 276 consecutive TKAs performed using this technique under the care of a single surgeon in patients with valgus knee deformity ≥10° was undertaken. An unconstrained mobile bearing implant was used in all knees with a medial para-patellar approach, and outcome scores were collected prospectively. Ninety six percent of the knees were cementless.



Mean coronal alignment of the lower limb was corrected from 15.6° (±5.7°) to 3.8° (±2.5°). 97.8 % knees had their coronal alignment restored to ≤7°. Seventy-eight knees (28 %) were balanced by only changing the distal femoral resection angle. One hundred and ninety-eight knees (72 %) had release of the posterolateral capsule. Sixteen knees (5.8 %) also had release of iliotibial band. Lateral patellar release was performed in 39 knees (14 %). 93.1 % had central patello-femoral alignment. At between 5.8 and 10.5 year follow-up, there has been one spinout, managed by closed reduction, and one revision of tibial tray for subsidence. The mean American Knee Society clinical score improved from 19.1 to 86.5 (±12.2).



Adequate correction of valgus knee deformity was successfully achieved using this modified technique with satisfactory medium-term outcome and avoidance of instability.

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