Knee surgery, sports traumatology, arthroscopy : official journal of the ESSKA vol:13 issue:3 pages:193-6
Many surgeons believe that increasing the tibial slope in total knee arthroplasty (TKA) is beneficial with regard to maximal postoperative flexion. Review of the clinical literature, however, does not confirm this hypothesis, neither does it give an answer to the question of how much flexion gain can be expected per degree extra tibial slope. The purpose of this study was, therefore, to evaluate and quantify the influence of tibial slope on maximal postoperative flexion in contemporary posterior cruciate ligament (PCL)-retaining TKA. Twenty-one cadaver simulations of a standard PCL-retaining TKA were studied while reproducing identical deep flexion femorotibial kinematics as documented by three-dimensional computer-aided videofluoroscopy from patients with well-functioning TKAs of the same design. In each knee the tibial component was consecutively implanted with 0 degrees posterior slope, 4 degrees posterior slope, and 7 degrees posterior slope. Maximal flexion was recorded for each configuration. Average maximal flexion at 0 degrees tibial slope was 104 degrees, and increased significantly to 112 degrees when the same knees were implanted with 4 degrees tibial slope. Increasing the slope further to 7 degrees again significantly improved average maximal flexion to 120 degrees. When postoperative radiographic tibial slope was compared to maximal flexion, an average gain of 1.7 degrees flexion for every degree extra tibial slope was noted. Increasing the tibial slope in PCL-retaining TKA does indeed improve maximal flexion before tibial insert impingement occurs against the femoral bone. The surgeon can expect an average gain of 1.7 degrees flexion for every degree extra tibial slope.