Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy August 2017, Volume 25, Issue 8, pp 2594–2601

Preserving the PCL during the tibial cut in total knee arthroplasty

Cinotti, G., Sessa, P., Amato, M. et al.
Knee

Purpose

Previous studies have shown that the PCL insertion may be damaged during the tibial cut performed in total knee arthroplasty. We investigated the maximum thickness of a tibial cut that preserves the PCL insertion and to what extent the posterior slope of the tibial cut and that of the patient’s tibial plateaus affect the outcome.

 

Methods

MR images of 83 knees were analysed. The maximum thickness of a tibial cut that preserves the PCL using a posterior slope of 0°, 3°, 5° and parallel to the patient’s slope of the tibial plateau, was evaluated. Correlations between the results and the degrees of the posterior slope of the patient’s tibial plateaus were also investigated.

 

Results

The maximum thickness of a tibial cut that preserves the entire PCL insertion was, on average, 5.5, 4.7, 4.2 and 3.1 mm when a posterior slope of 0°, 3°, 5° and parallel to the patients’ tibial plateaus was used, respectively. When the 25th percentile was considered, the maximum thickness of a tibial cut that preserved the PCL was 4 and 3 mm with a tibial cut of 0° and 5° of posterior slope, respectively. The maximum thickness of a tibial cut that preserved the PCL was significantly greater in patients with a sagittal slope of the tibial plateaus more than 8° than in those with a sagittal slope less than 8°.

 

Conclusion

In cruciate retaining implants, the PCL insertion may be spared in the majority of patients by performing a tibial cut of 4 mm, or even less when a posterior slope of 3°–5° is used. The clinical relevance of our study is that the execution of a conservative tibial cut, followed by a second tibial resection to achieve the thickness required for the tibial component to be implanted, may be an alternative technique to spare the PCL in CR TKA.

 

Level of evidence

II.


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