PCL-retaining versus PCL-substituting TKR - Outcome assessment based on the "forgotten joint score"

J Clin Orthop Trauma. 2015 Dec;6(4):236-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jcot.2015.04.009. Epub 2015 Jun 9.


Background: Posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) retention or sacrifice figures prominently among the current controversies in total knee arthroplasty (TKA). Even though biomechanical advantages and disadvantages have been claimed for each type of TKA, clinical studies have not shown significant differences in the outcomes.

Methods: In this retrospective study, the recently introduced "forgotten joint score" (FJS) was used to assess whether any differences exist between the two types of total knee replacement (TKR). FJ scores of 169 patients with PCL-retaining TKA and 178 patients with PCL sacrificing were obtained. The mean follow-up period was 3.5 years and the minimum follow-up period was 2.5 years.

Results: Both groups showed high FJ scores indicating that majority of the patients were oblivious to the presence of the artificial joint during daily activities. There was no statistically significant difference between the mean FJ scores of the two groups. Scores of subsets based on gender, age and unilateral and bilateral TKR also did not show significant differences.

Conclusions: Since there are no clinically important differences between the two types of TKR, the choice of the TKA should be based on surgeon preferences and training and local conditions of the knee. Patient-reported outcomes appear to be similar regardless of the choice of TKA. Further prospective studies and validation of FJS outcomes with those of other questionnaires are essential to confirm the absence of differences between PCL retention and sacrifice.

Keywords: Forgotten joint score; PCL-retaining knee arthroplasty; PCL-substituting knee arthroplasty; Total knee arthroplasty.