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J Arthroplasty. 2017 Jun;32(6):1819-1823. doi: 10.1016/j.arth.2017.01.042. Epub 2017 Feb 1.

Effects of Resection of Posterior Condyles of Femur on Extension Gap of Knee Joint in Total Knee Arthroplasty.

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Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Bumin Hospital, Buk-gu, Busan, Republic of Korea.
Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Busan Paik Hospital, College of Medicine, Inje University, Busanjin-gu, Busan, Republic of Korea.



When evaluating the effects of the preparation of the flexion gap on the extension gap in total knee arthroplasty (TKA), the effects of posterior condylar resection and osteophyte removal on the extension gap should be differentiated. Although the amount of osteophytes differs between patients, posterior condylar resection is a procedure that is routinely implemented in TKA. The aim of this study was to assess the effects of the resection of the posterior condyle of the femur on the extension gap in posterior-stabilized (PS) TKA.


We enrolled 40 knees that underwent PS TKA between July 2010 and February 2011 with no or minimal osteophytes in the posterior compartment and a varus deformity of <15°. We measured the extension gap before and after the resection of the posterior condyle of the femur using a tensor under 20 and 40 lb of distraction force.


Under 20 lb of distraction force, the average extension gap was 13.3 mm (standard deviation [SD], 1.6) before and 13.8 mm (SD, 1.6) after posterior condylar resection. Under 40 lb of distraction force, the average extension gap was 15.1 mm (SD, 1.5) before and 16.1 mm (SD, 1.7) after posterior condylar resection.


The resection of the posterior condyle of the femur in PS TKA increased the extension gap. However, this increase was only by approximately 1 mm. In conclusion, posterior condylar resection does increase the extension gap by approximately 1 mm. However, in most case, this change in unlikely to be clinically important.


extension gap; femur; flexion gap; posterior condyle; total knee arthroplasty

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