Archives of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery

, Volume 125, Issue 1, pp 16–20 | Cite as

Intraoperative cutting errors in total knee arthroplasty

  • H. BäthisEmail author
  • L. Perlick
  • M. Tingart
  • C. Perlick
  • C. Lüring
  • J. Grifka
Original Article



Precise reconstruction of leg alignment offers the best opportunity for achieving good long-term results in total knee arthroplasty (TKA). It was the aim of this study to evaluate the bone-cutting process as a potential source of inaccuracy in TKA.

Materials and methods

In a consecutive series of 50 computer-assisted TKAs, cutting errors, which were defined as a difference between the cutting block position before sawing and the achieved resection plane afterwards, were measured for the distal femur and proximal tibia resection. Measurements were performed using a CT-based navigation system.


For the distal femoral cut, there was a mean varus/valgus deviation of 0.6° (SD±0.5°) and a mean flexion/extension deviation of 1.4° (SD±1.3°). For the proximal tibia, varus/valgus alignment showed a mean deviation of 0.5° (SD±0.5°). The mean sagittal variability was 1.0° (SD±0.9°). Differences between the frontal and the sagittal plane were significant.


To minimize cutting errors, techniques and instruments are needed which enable a more stable fixation of the cutting blocks or even more appropriate preparation instruments. Using a computer-assisted technique, the surgeon is aware of cutting errors occurring at each point of the operation and will therefore be able to correct these errors during surgery, while he is not aware of those errors with the conventional TKA technique.


Total knee arthroplasty Cutting error Computer-assisted technique 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. Bäthis
    • 1
    Email author
  • L. Perlick
    • 1
  • M. Tingart
    • 1
  • C. Perlick
    • 2
  • C. Lüring
    • 1
  • J. Grifka
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Orthopaedic SurgeryUniversity of RegensburgRegensburgGermany
  2. 2.Department of OrthopaedicsAarhus Amtssygehus, Aarhus University HospitalAarhus CDenmark

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