Studies of medial and lateral femoral posterior condylar offset have disagreed on whether posterior condylar offset affects maximum knee flexion angle after TKA.
We asked whether posterior condylar offset was correlated with knee flexion angle 1 year after surgery in (1) a PCL-retaining meniscal-bearing TKA implant, or in (2) a PCL-substituting mobile-bearing TKA implant.
Knee flexion angle was examined preoperatively and 12 months postoperatively in 170 patients who underwent primary TKAs to clarify the effect of PCL-retaining (85 knees) and PCL-substituting (85 knees) prostheses on knee flexion angle. A quasirandomized design was used; patients were assigned to receive one or the other implant using chart numbers. A quantitative three-dimensional technique with CT was used to examine individual changes in medial and lateral posterior condylar offsets.
In PCL-retaining meniscal-bearing knees, there were no significant correlations between posterior condylar offset and knee flexion at 1 year. In these knees, the mean (± SD) postoperative differences in medial and lateral posterior condylar offsets were 0.0 ± 3.6 mm and 3.8 ± 3.6 mm, respectively. The postoperative change in maximum knee flexion angle was −5° ± 15°. In PCL-substituting rotating-platform knees, similarly, there were no significant correlations between posterior condylar offset and knee flexion 1 year after surgery. In these knees, the mean postoperative differences in medial and lateral posterior condylar offsets were −0.5 ± 3.3 mm and 3.3 ± 4.2 mm, respectively. The postoperative change in maximum knee flexion angle was −2° ± 18°.
Differences in individual posterior condylar offset with current PCL-retaining or PCL-substituting prostheses did not correlate with changes in knee flexion 1 year after TKA. We should recognize that correctly identifying which condyle affects the results of the TKA may be difficult with conventional radiographic techniques.
Level of Evidence
Level II, therapeutic study. See Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.