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A quantitative method of effective soft tissue management for varus knees in total knee replacement surgery using navigational techniques

Picard, F and Deakin, A H and Clarke, Jon and Dillon, J M and Kinninmonth, A W (2007) A quantitative method of effective soft tissue management for varus knees in total knee replacement surgery using navigational techniques. Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part H: Journal of Engineering in Medicine, 221 (7). pp. 763-772. ISSN 0954-4119

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Total knee replacement (TKR) has become the standard procedure in management of degenerative joint disease with its success depending mainly on two factors: three-dimensional alignment and soft-tissue balancing. The aim of this work was to develop and validate an algorithm to indicate appropriate medial soft tissue release during TKR for varus knees using initial kinematics quantified via navigation techniques. Kinematic data were collected intraoperatively for 46 patients with primary end-stage osteoarthritis undergoing TKR surgery using a computer-tomography-free navigation system. All patients had preoperative varus knees and medial release was made using the surgeon's experience. Based on these data an algorithm was developed. This algorithm was validated on a further set of 35 patients where it was used to define the medial release based on the kinematic data. The post-operative valgus stress angles for the two groups were compared. These results showed that the algorithm was a suitable tool to indicate the type of medial release required in varus knees based on intra-operatively measured pre-implant valgus stress and extension deficit angles. It reduced the percentage of releases made and the results were more appropriate than the decisions made by an experienced surgeon.