Femoral footprint of the popliteus tendon may be at the risk of damage during total knee arthroplasty
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The present study focused on the prevalence of incidental excision of the femoral footprint of the popliteus tendon during total knee arthroplasty and its associated risk factors.
A total of 275 knee arthroplasties were performed for 226 patients with varus knee osteoarthritis. The status of the femoral footprint of the popliteus tendon was intraoperatively evaluated and classified into three groups (preserved, partially excised, and completely excised), and the prevalence of the excision was identified. Femoral component size, the thickness of the resected distal femoral condyle, and preoperative patient demographic data were compared for the three groups. Ordinal logistic regression analysis was performed to reveal risk factors associated with the excision.
The femoral footprint of the popliteus tendon was preserved in 132 knees (48.0 %), partially excised in 94 knees (34.2 %) and completely excised in 49 knees (17.8 %). The ordinal logistic regression analysis revealed thicker resection of the distal femoral condyle (p < 0.0001) and shorter body height (p = 0.0266) to be the independent risk factors for the excision.
The incidental partial or complete excision of the femoral footprint of the popliteus tendon was identified in approximately half of the evaluated knees. Thicker resection of the distal femoral condyle and shorter body height were the most significant risk factors for the excision.
Level of evidence
Case–control study, Level III.
KeywordsPopliteus tendon Femoral footprint Incidental excision Total knee arthroplasty Osteoarthritis
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