Reoperations are few and confined to the most valgus phenotypes 4 years after unrestricted calipered kinematically aligned TKA

Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc. 2022 Mar;30(3):948-957. doi: 10.1007/s00167-021-06473-3. Epub 2021 Feb 13.


Purpose: The present study determined the postoperative phenotypes after unrestricted calipered kinematically aligned (KA) total knee arthroplasty (TKA), whether any phenotypes were associated with reoperation, implant revision, and lower outcome scores at 4 years, and whether the proportion of TKAs within each phenotype was comparable to those of the nonarthritic contralateral limb.

Methods: From 1117 consecutive primary TKAs treated by one surgeon with unrestricted calipered KA, an observer identified all patients (N = 198) that otherwise had normal paired femora and tibiae on a long-leg CT scanogram. In both legs, the distal femur-mechanical axis angle (FMA), proximal tibia-mechanical axis angle (TMA), and the hip-knee-ankle angle (HKA) were measured. Each alignment angle was assigned to one of Hirschmann's five FMA, five TMA, and seven HKA phenotype categories.

Results: Three TKAs (1.5%) underwent reoperation for anterior knee pain or patellofemoral instability in the subgroup of patients with the more valgus phenotypes. There were no implant revisions for component loosening, wear, or tibiofemoral instability. The median Forgotten Joint Score (FJS) was similar between phenotypes. The median Oxford Knee Score (OKS) was similar between the TMA and HKA phenotypes and greatest in the most varus FMA phenotype. The phenotype proportions after calipered KA TKA were comparable to the contralateral leg.

Conclusion: Unrestricted calipered KA's restoration of the wide range of phenotypes did not result in implant revision or poor FJS and OKS scores at a mean follow-up of 4 years. The few reoperated patients had a more valgus setting of the prosthetic trochlea than recommended for mechanical alignment. Designing a femoral component specifically for KA that restores patellofemoral kinematics with all phenotypes, especially the more valgus ones, is a strategy for reducing reoperation risk.

Level of evidence: Therapeutic, Level III.

Keywords: Calipered; Kinematic alignment; Phenotype; Reoperation; Total knee arthroplasty; Total knee replacement.

MeSH terms

  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Knee*
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Humans
  • Knee Joint / surgery
  • Knee Prosthesis*
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee* / surgery
  • Phenotype
  • Reoperation
  • Retrospective Studies