The Knee, ISSN: 1873-5800, Vol: 24, Issue: 4, Page: 733-744

Variability in static alignment and kinematics for kinematically aligned TKA

Theodore, Willy; Twiggs, Joshua; Kolos, Elizabeth; Roe, Justin; Fritsch, Brett; Dickison, David; Liu, David; Salmon, Lucy; Miles, Brad; Howell, Stephen


Total knee arthroplasty (TKA) significantly improves pain and restores a considerable degree of function. However, improvements are needed to increase patient satisfaction and restore kinematics to allow more physically demanding activities that active patients consider important. The aim of our study was to compare the alignment and motion of kinematically and mechanically aligned TKAs.



A patient specific musculoskeletal computer simulation was used to compare the tibio-femoral and patello-femoral kinematics between mechanically aligned and kinematically aligned TKA in 20 patients.


When kinematically aligned, femoral components on average resulted in more valgus alignment to the mechanical axis and internally rotated to surgical transepicondylar axis whereas tibia component on average resulted in more varus alignment to the mechanical axis and internally rotated to tibial AP rotational axis. With kinematic alignment, tibio-femoral motion displayed greater tibial external rotation and lateral femoral flexion facet centre (FFC) translation with knee flexion than mechanical aligned TKA. At the patellofemoral joint, patella lateral shift of kinematically aligned TKA plateaued after 20 to 30° flexion while in mechanically aligned TKA it decreased continuously through the whole range of motion.


Kinematic alignment resulted in greater variation than mechanical alignment for all tibio-femoral and patello-femoral motion. Kinematic alignment places TKA components patient specific alignment which depends on the preoperative state of the knee resulting in greater variation in kinematics. The use of computational models has the potential to predict which alignment based on native alignment, kinematic or mechanical, could improve knee function for patient’s undergoing TKA.

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