The Journal of Arthroplasty, Volume 32, Issue 3, 1006 - 1012

The Anteroposterior Axis of the Proximal Tibia Can Change After Tibial Resection in Total Knee Arthroplasty: Computer Simulation Using Asian Osteoarthritis Knees

Ushio, Tetsuro et al.


We evaluated the effect of cutting surface on the anteroposterior (AP) axis of the proximal tibia using a 3-dimensional (3D) bone model to ensure proper tibial rotational alignment in total knee arthroplasty.


3D bone models were reconstructed from the preoperative computed tomography data of 93 Japanese osteoarthritis knees with varus deformity. The AP axis was defined as the perpendicular bisector of the medial and lateral condylar centers in a 3D coordinate system. Bone cutting of the proximal tibia was performed with various tibial posterior slopes (0°, 3°, 7°) to the mechanical axis, and we compared the AP axes before and after bone cutting.


The AP axis before bone cutting crossed a point at about 16% (one-sixth) of the distance from the medial edge of the patellar tendon at its tibial attachment. The AP axis after bone cutting was significantly internally rotated at all posterior slopes: 4.1° at slope 0°, 3.0° at slope 3°, and 2.1° at slope 7°. The percentages of cases with differences of more than 3° or 5° were 66.7% and 34.4% at slope 0°, 53.8% and 24.7% at slope 3°, and 38.3% and 11.8% at slope 7°, respectively.


The AP axis of the proximal tibia may be rotated internally after resection of the proximal tibia in total knee arthroplasty. Hence, surgeons should recognize the effect of changes in the cutting surface on rotational alignment of the proximal tibia.

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