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Int Orthop. 2011 Jul;35(7):989-94. doi: 10.1007/s00264-010-1025-5. Epub 2010 May 9.

How much tibial resection is required in total knee arthroplasty?

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LVR Klinik für Orthopädie, Horionstrasse 2, 41749, Viersen, Germany.


The purpose of our study was to calculate the optimal tibial resection depth in total knee arthroplasty. The data from 464 navigated total knee arthroplasties were analysed. An implant with a minimum insert thickness of 8 mm was used. Data regarding leg axis, joint line, insert thickness and tibial resection depth were recorded by the navigation device. An algorithm was developed to calculate the optimal tibial resection depth. The required tibial resection significantly correlates with the preoperative leg axis (p < 0.001). In valgus deformities the required resection depth averaged 5.1 mm and was significantly reduced compared to knees with a neutral leg axis (6.8 mm, p < 0.001) and varus deformities (8.0 mm, p < 0.001). Manufacturers recommend undercutting the high side of the tibial plateau to the depth of the thinnest insert available. However, our study demonstrates that in valgus deformities a reduced tibial resection depth is preferable. Hence, unnecessary bone loss can be avoided.

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