Background: There is no consensus on the importance of the kinematics of the prosthetic joint for the clinical outcome after total knee arthroplasty. A 3-armed randomized controlled trial was done to determine and compare the in vivo kinematics of a posterior cruciate-retaining and two posterior cruciate-sacrificing (Anterior-Stabilized and Posterior-Stabilized) prosthetic designs from the same total knee arthroplasty system. Since the anterior-stabilized and posterior-stabilized designs are posterior cruciate ligament-sacrificing designs, we hypothesized they would have similar contact-point kinematics. Further, we hypothesized that the cruciate-retaining design would have contact-point kinematics different from the anterior-stabilized and the posterior-stabilized designs, but comparable to a native knee.
Methods: Thirty-nine patients with a well-functioning total knee arthroplasty one year postoperatively underwent kinematic analysis of a weight-bearing step-up movement under fluoroscopic recording. Model-based radiostereometric analysis was used to determine anteroposterior contact-point translations and rotations through the movement path to assess knee kinematics.
Findings: The cruciate-retaining and anterior-stabilized groups' medial and lateral contact-points displayed similar paradoxical posterior translations during step-up in the magnitude of 7 and 2 mm, respectively. In contrast, the posterior-stabilized group's contact-points translated anteriorly by 4 and 10 mm throughout the movement and were significantly more posterior than the cruciate-retaining and the anterior-stabilized groups from >100° to 40° of flexion. The femur rotated internally with all designs.
Interpretation: The cruciate-retaining and anterior-stabilized designs displayed similar contact-point translation patterns during a step-up movement. Only the posterior-stabilized design showed a pattern comparable to native knees. Conversion from a cruciate-retaining to an anterior-stabilized design because of posterior cruciate ligament insufficiency will not change knee kinematics.
Keywords: Kinematics; Knee prosthesis design; Radiostereometric analysis; Total knee arthroplasty.
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