Tibiofemoral force following total knee arthroplasty: comparison of four prosthesis designs in vitro
Journal Paper/Review - Nov 1, 2007
Nicholls Rochelle L, Schirm Andreas C, Jeffcote Benjamin O, Kuster Markus
Despite ongoing evolution in total knee arthroplasty (TKA) prosthesis design, restricted flexion continues to be common postoperatively. Compressive tibiofemoral force during flexion is generated through the interaction between soft tissues and prosthesis geometry. In this study, we compared the compressive tibiofemoral force in vitro of four commonly used prostheses: fixed-bearing PCL (posterior cruciate ligament)-retaining (PFC), mobile-bearing posterior-stabilized (PS), posterior-stabilized with a High Flex femoral component (HF), and mobile-bearing PCL-sacrificing (LCS). Fourteen fresh-frozen cadaver knee joints were tested in a passive motion rig, and tibiofemoral force measured using a modified tibial baseplate instrumented with six load cells. The implants without posterior stabilization displayed an exponential increase in force after 90 degrees of flexion, while PS implants maintained low force throughout the range of motion. The fixed-bearing PFC prosthesis displayed the highest peak force (214 +/- 68 N at 150 degrees flexion). Sacrifice of the PCL decreased the peak force to a level comparable with the LCS implant. The use of a PCL-substituting post and cam system reduced the peak force up to 78%, irrespective of whether it was a high-flex or a standard PS knee. However, other factors such as preoperative range of motion, knee joint kinematics, soft tissue impingement, and implantation technique play a role in postoperative knee function. The present study suggests that a posterior-stabilized TKA design might be advantageous in reducing soft tissue tension in deep flexion. Further research is necessary to fully understand all factors affecting knee flexion after TKA.