The purpose of this study was to assess the influences of surgical approaches and tourniquet application on the lateral retinacular tension (LRT). Single-setting bilateral total knee arthroplasty was performed in 10 patients, and the medial parapatellar and midvastus approaches were randomly performed on each knee using tourniquet application. The LRT was measured using the buckle transducer before and after each approach. Next, the tourniquet was deflated and the measurement was repeated. After the parapatellar approach, LRT was significantly decreased. Conversely, no significant change was seen after the midvastus approach with the tourniquet inflated. However, in the midvastus approach, LRT was significantly decreased after tourniquet deflation. We concluded that both the parapatellar and midvastus approaches influence patellar tracking and LRT.
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