Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research: January 2011 - Volume 469 - Issue 1 - p 69–75 doi: 10.1007/s11999-010-1516-0 Symposium: Papers Presented at the Annual Meetings of the Knee Society

Technical Challenges of Total Knee Arthroplasty in Skeletal Dysplasia

Kim, Raymond, H., MD1, 2, 3, a; Scuderi, Giles, R., MD4; Dennis, Douglas, A., MD1, 2, 3, 5, 6; Nakano, Steven, W., BA1

Background Total knee arthroplasty (TKA) in patients with skeletal dysplasias is particularly challenging as a result of the anatomic variances and substantial bony deformities. Little has been written regarding technical considerations that should be made when performing TKA in skeletal dysplasia.


Questions/purposes We describe special operative considerations that must be made when performing TKA on patients with skeletal dysplasia, including implant selection and ligamentous balancing.


Patients and Methods We retrospectively reviewed 12 TKAs in eight patients with varying degrees of deformity (ranging from 30° of varus to 45° of valgus) secondary to three types of skeletal dysplasias: multiple hereditary exostosis, achondroplasia, and osteogenesis imperfecta. Clinical notes, operative records, and radiographic data were reviewed. Minimum followup was 1 year (average, 4 years; range, 1-10 years).


Results We used customized implants in three of the 12 knees. Constrained tibial inserts were used in five knees. All 12 knees underwent releases (soft tissue or epicondylar osteotomy) to address gap balancing or patellar tracking. Average Knee Society scores improved from 35.9 preoperatively to 82.9 postoperatively and average function scores improved from 47.9 preoperatively to 96.7 postoperatively. Complications included two transient peroneal nerve palsies.


Conclusions Special considerations must be made with regard to implant selection and ligamentous balancing as a result of the unusual anatomy and deformities that accompany skeletal dysplasia, but the short-term clinical results reveal consistent improvements in pain and function.


Level of Evidence Level IV, therapeutic study. See Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

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