2020 Volume 87 Issue 4 Pages 215-219
Background: To restore neutral limb alignment in total knee arthroplasty (TKA), the procedure usually starts with removing osteophytes in varus osteoarthritic knees. However, the exact effect on alignment correction is unknown. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of osteophyte removal alone during TKA for varus knees on correction of limb alignment on the coronal plane. Methods: Fifteen knees with medial osteoarthritis and varus malalignment scheduled for TKA were studied. After registration in a navigation system, each knee was tested at maximum extension, and at 30, 40, and 60 degrees of flexion, before and after osteophyte removal. External loads of 10 N·m valgus torque at each angle and in both states were applied. Later, the widths of the resected osteophytes were measured. Results: The average preoperative hip-knee-ankle angle was -14.2 degrees. The average width of osteophytes was 7.6 mm in the femur and 5.3 mm in the tibia. Angle corrections after osteophyte removal were 3.4 degrees at maximum extension, 3.4 degrees at 30 degrees flexion, and 3.6 degrees at 60 degrees flexion; the difference was significant for all angles. There was a positive correlation between osteophyte width and the degree of angle correction at 30 degrees. Conclusion: At 30 degrees of knee flexion, osteophyte width was correlated with the degree of angle correction on the coronal plane in TKA. The degree of angle correction per 1 mm of width of removed osteophytes was 0.4 degrees.