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Orthopedics. 2012 Oct;35(10):e1472-5. doi: 10.3928/01477447-20120919-14.

Measured flexion following total knee arthroplasty.

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Hanford Community Medical Center, Hanford, California, USA.


Postoperative flexion is an important factor in the outcome of total knee arthroplasty. Although normal activities of daily living require a minimum of 105° to 110° of flexion, patients from non-Western cultures often engage in activities such as kneeling and squatting that require higher flexion. The desire to achieve greater flexion serves as the driving force for prosthetic modifications, including high-flexion designs. Techniques used to measure knee flexion and knee position during measurement are not often described or are different depending on the examiner. The purpose of this study was to compare active (self) and passive (assisted) flexion after successful total knee arthroplasty for 5 prostheses (2 standard and 3 high-flexion) using clinical (goniometer) and radiographic (true lateral radiograph) measurement techniques by different independent examiners.At a mean follow-up of 2.7 years (range, 1-5.6 years), a total of 108 patients (144 total knee arthroplasties) had completed the study. Mean postoperative active flexion was 111° clinically and 109° radiographically for the standard designs and 114° clinically and 117° radiographically for the high-flexion designs. Adding passive flexion increased flexion to 115° clinically and 117° radiographically for the standard designs and 119° clinically and 124° radiographically for the high-flexion designs. Flexion differences between the 2 measurement techniques (active vs passive and clinically vs radiographically) were statistically significant (P<.05). These findings demonstrate the importance of describing how flexion is measured in studies and understanding how the method of measurement can affect the findings.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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