Send to

Choose Destination
Knee. 2010 Jan;17(1):57-60. doi: 10.1016/j.knee.2009.05.004. Epub 2009 Jun 17.

Periprosthetic tibial fractures in unicompartmental knee arthroplasty as a function of extended sagittal saw cuts: an experimental study.

Author information

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Heidelberg, Schlierbacher Landstrasse 200a, 69118 Heidelberg, Germany.


Periprosthetic tibial plateau fractures (TPF) are rare but represent a serious complication of unicompartmental knee arthroplasty (UKA). As TPFs usually occur perioperatively, these can be associated with extended sagittal saw cuts during surgery. The aim of the study was to evaluate TPF as a function of extended sagittal saw cuts. The hypothesis was that extended sagittal saw cuts reduce the loading capacity of the tibial plateau and increase the risk of periprosthetic TPF. In a randomised study, standardised cemented Oxford UKA tibial component implantation was performed in six matched, paired fresh-frozen tibiae. In group A, a regular preparation of the tibial plateau was performed, whereas in group B a standardised extended sagittal saw cut was made at the dorsal cortex of the tibia. All tibiae were fractured under standardised conditions and fracture patterns and fracture loads were analysed. In group A, tibiae fractured with a mean load of F(max)=3.9 (2.3-8.5) kN, whereas in group B fractures occurred at a mean load of F(max)=2.6 (1.1-5.0) kN. The difference was statistically significant (p<0.05). Extended sagittal saw cuts in UKA weaken the tibial bone structure. Our results show that descendent extended sagittal saw cuts of 10 degrees reduce fracture loads by about 30%. Surgeons should be aware of the potential pitfalls of an extended sagittal saw cut, as this can lead to reduced loading capacity of the tibial plateau and increase the risk of periprosthetic TPF.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center