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Accurate alignment and high function after kinematically aligned TKA performed with generic instruments

  • Knee
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Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy Aims and scope



Performing kinematically aligned total knee arthroplasty (TKA) with generic instruments is less costly than patient-specific instrumentation; however, the alignment and function with this new technique are unknown.


One hundred and one consecutive patients (101 knees) treated with kinematically aligned TKA, implanted with use of generic instruments, were prospectively followed. The medial collateral ligament was not released. The lateral collateral ligament was released in the 17 % of patients with a fixed valgus deformity. Six measures of alignment were categorized from a scanogram of the extremity, an axial scan of the knee, and an intraoperative measurement. Both the Oxford Knee and WOMAC™ scores were assessed as function. High function was a mean Oxford Knee score >41.


The frequency that patients were categorized as in-range was 93 % for the mechanical alignment of the limb (0° ± 3°), 94 % for the joint line (−3° ± 3°), 57 % for the anatomic axis of the knee (−2.5° ± −7.4° valgus), 4 % for the varus–valgus rotation of the tibial component (≤0° valgus), 98 % for the rotation of the tibial component with respect to the femoral component (0° ± 10°), and 94 % for the intraoperative change in the anterior–posterior distance of the tibia with respect to the femur at 90° of flexion (0 ± 2 mm). The mean OKS score was 42, and WOMAC™ score was 89. For each alignment, the function was the same for patients categorized as an outlier or in-range.


The authors prefer the use of generic instruments to perform kinematically aligned TKA in place of mechanically aligned TKA because five of six alignments were accurate and because high function was restored regardless of whether patients had an alignment categorized as an outlier or in-range.

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We thank the imaging department and technicians at Methodist Hospital, Sacramento, CA for performing the scanograms and axial CT scans.

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Correspondence to Stephen M. Howell.

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This work was performed at Methodist Hospital in Sacramento, CA, USA, and at the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of California at Davis, Davis, CA, USA.

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Howell, S.M., Papadopoulos, S., Kuznik, K.T. et al. Accurate alignment and high function after kinematically aligned TKA performed with generic instruments. Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc 21, 2271–2280 (2013).

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