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J Arthroplasty. 2001 Sep;16(6):721-9.

Primary total knee arthroplasty in the valgus knee: creating a balanced soft tissue envelope.

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Department of Orthopaedics, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, Utah 84112, USA.


Lateral tissue releases in valgus total knee arthroplasty frequently produce asymmetric flexion-extension gaps and ligamentous instability. This study compared 2 lateral-release sequences and quantified the effects of sequential lateral capsular ligamentous structure release. One knee from 7 paired specimens was released according to a 4-step sequence: posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), ibiotibial tract (IT band), popliteus tendon/lateral collateral ligament (PT/LCL), and biceps femoris tendon. The contralateral knees were released according to a 5-step sequence: PCL, posterolateral capsule, IT band, PT, and LCL. After each release step, flexion and extension gaps were measured and recorded for the medial and lateral aspects. The 5-step sequence produced more symmetric flexion-extension gaps, whereas the absolute magnitudes of correction were lower than with the 4-step sequence. LCL sacrifice in both sequences produced marked lateral flexion-extension gap asymmetry.

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