A Multicenter Analysis of Axial Femorotibial Rotation after Total Knee Arthroplasty

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A multicenter analysis was done to determine in vivo femorotibial axial rotation magnitudes and patterns in 1,027 knees (normal knees, nonimplanted ACL-deficient knees, and multiple designs of total knee arthroplasty). All knees were analyzed using fluoroscopy and a three-dimensional computer model-fitting technique during a deep knee bend and/or gait. Normal knees showed 16.5° and 5.7° of internal tibial rotation during a deep knee bend and gait, respectively. Rotation magnitudes and the percent having normal axial rotation patterns decreased in all total knee arthroplasty groups during a deep knee bend. During gait, all knee arthroplasty groups had similar rotational patterns (limited magnitudes). Average axial rotational magnitudes in gait and a deep knee bend were similar among major implant categories (ie, fixed-bearing versus mobile-bearing, etc). Average values in normal knees and ACL-retaining total knee arthroplasty patients (16.5° and 8.1°, respectively) were higher than in groups in which the ACL was absent (< 4.0°). All total knee arthroplasty groups had at least 19% of patients have a reverse axial rotational pattern during a deep knee bend and at least 31% during gait. Normal axial rotation patterns are essential for good patellar tracking, reduction of patellofemoral shear forces, and maximization of knee flexion.

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