Background: Femoral intramedullary canal referencing is used by most knee arthroplasty systems for distal femoral cut; to avoid the opening of the femoral canal different solutions have been presented such as navigation, patient-specific instruments (PSI) or the use of an extramedullary device. The FuZion® system is a tensor device, created to merge the two main techniques for performing a total knee arthroplasty: the ligament balancing and measured resection techniques. Our idea was to use the tensor as an extramedullary cutting guide for the distal femoral cut, based on a 90° tibial resection.
Methods: A total of 110 patients were operated on with this technique. Patients were evaluated with weight-bearing long-standing X-rays, knee a-p and lateral views, validated PROMs (Oxford Knee Score, EQ-5D and EQ-VAS), the Knee Society Scoring System (KSS) and the Forgotten Joint Score (FJS). Minimum follow up was 3 years (range 38-50 months).
Results: Complete results were available for 104 patients (5 were lost in follow up and 1 died). Significant improvements were registered for all the evaluated scores from pre-op to the final follow up. Pre-op long-standing X-rays showed 21 valgus knees (20%) with a mean HKA of 187.6° (± 3.2°), 70 varus knees (62%) with a mean 172.2° (± 3.7°) HKA and 19 neutrally aligned knees, with a mean HKA of 179.5° (0 ± 2°). The radiographic evaluation at 3 months post-op showed 20 valgus knees (mean HKA 183.7° ± 1.5°), 67 varus knees (mean HKA 176.1° ± 1.8°) and 23 neutrally aligned knees with a mean HKA of 179.3° (0 ± 2°). At final follow up the survival rate was 100% for revision of the implant as the endpoint. With any reoperation as the endpoint Kaplan-Meier survival estimate showed a survival rate of 95.1% at 3 years.
Conclusions: This technique for performing a ligament driven alignment in total knee arthroplasty showed encouraging clinical outcomes at mid-term follow up leaving a residual deformity on the coronal plane.
Keywords: Alignment; Extramedullary; Ligaments; Tensor; Total knee replacement.
© 2021. The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.