Background: Recently, much attention has been directed to femoral component overhang in total knee arthroplasty. The purposes of this study were to describe the prevalence of femoral component overhang among men and women after total knee arthroplasty, to identify risk factors for overhang, and to determine whether overhang was associated with postoperative knee pain or decreased range of motion.
Methods: Femoral component overhang was measured intraoperatively during 437 implantations of the same type of total knee arthroplasty prosthesis. The overhang of metal beyond the bone cut edge was measured in millimeters at the midpoint of ten zones after permanent fixation of the implant. Factors predictive of overhanging fit were identified, and the effect of overhang on postoperative pain and flexion was examined.
Results: Overhang of >or=3 mm occurred in at least one zone among 40% (seventy-one) of 176 knees in men and 68% (177) of 261 knees in women, most frequently in lateral zones 2 (anterior-distal) and 3 (distal). Female sex, shorter height, and larger femoral component size were highly predictive of greater overhang in multivariate models. Femoral component overhang of >or=3 mm in at least one zone was associated with an almost twofold increased risk of knee pain more severe than occasional or mild at two years after surgery (odds ratio, 1.9; 95% confidence interval, 1.1 to 3.3).
Conclusions: In this series, overhang of the femoral component was highly prevalent, occurring more often and with greater severity in women, and the prevalence and magnitude of overhang increased with larger femoral component sizes among both sexes. Femoral component overhang of >or=3 mm approximately doubles the odds of clinically important knee pain two years after total knee arthroplasty.