Good clinical and radiological results of total knee arthroplasty using varus valgus constrained or rotating hinge implants in ligamentous laxity

Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc. 2019 May;27(5):1665-1670. doi: 10.1007/s00167-018-5307-6. Epub 2018 Nov 20.


Purpose: The optimal degree of constraint of a total knee arthroplasty for treatment of knee osteoarthritis with ligamentous laxity is under debate. While varus valgus constrained knees require a minimum level of ligamentous stability, rotating hinge knees can even be implanted if the collateral ligaments have been lost completely. It seems plausible that joint kinematics are determined by implant design in rotating hinge knees, whereas varus valgus constrained knees may be influenced by remaining stabilizers. This may result in more predictable clinical results of hinge knees. The hypothesis of the present study, therefore, was that stability and clinical outcome are better after total knee arthroplasty using rotating hinge knees than after using varus valgus constrained knees.

Methods: All patients who were treated using a mobile-bearing varus valgus constrained knee or a rotating hinge knee for treatment of end-stage osteoarthritis and ligamentous laxity were included. At follow-up, clinical scores were determined (WOMAC, VAS, KSS, FJS, Lysholm). Furthermore, body mass index, operating time, and postoperative complications were documented. Whole leg radiographs as well as patella axial radiographs were analyzed for implant alignment and patella tracking.

Results: Eighty-five patients were included in this retrospective study. Both groups showed an average range of motion of 113°. No significant difference between the two groups was observed for any of the scores recorded. In the rotating hinge knee group, a more precise tibia positioning in relation to the mechanical axis but also a significant lateralisation and tilting of the patella were seen, compared with the varus valgus constrained knee group.

Conclusions: Rotating hinge knees did not perform better than mobile-bearing varus valgus constrained knees clinically. Both prosthesis types showed equally good clinical outcomes with regard to stability, mobility, satisfaction, pain and operating time.

Level of evidence: Retrospective case series, Level IV.

Keywords: Fully constrained; RHK; Rotating hinge knee; TKA; Total knee replacement; Varus valgus constrained.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Knee / methods*
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Collateral Ligaments / surgery
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Joint Instability / diagnostic imaging
  • Joint Instability / surgery*
  • Knee Joint / diagnostic imaging
  • Knee Joint / surgery*
  • Knee Prosthesis*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee / diagnostic imaging
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee / surgery*
  • Pain / surgery
  • Patella / surgery
  • Postoperative Complications / etiology
  • Radiography
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tibia / surgery