, Volume 102, Issue 1, pp 29–34 | Cite as

A study of anatomy of distal femur pertaining to total knee replacement: an analysis, conclusions and recommendations

  • K. Kumar
  • D. Sharma
Original Article



Multiple landmarks including the transepicondylar axis (TEA), posterior condylar axis (PCA) and anterior trochlear line (TL) have been used to set up the femoral component rotation, but each is faced with its own practical obstacle that limits its usage. Also a common practice is to set the femoral component rotation at 3° external rotation to PCA and valgus resection angle at 5°–7° to anatomical axis of femur. For the reason that the anatomy of each knee is different, it may not be justified to practice such a set protocol in all cases. The aim of the study was to compare the anatomical landmarks used to set up the femoral component rotation and to study the variability in the different anatomical relationships relevant to total knee replacement.

Materials and methods

The study had 52 patients (94 knees) with grade IV osteoarthritis. Full-length lower limb scanogram and 1 mm cross-sectional cuts of distal femur were taken. aTEA, sTEA, PCL, TL, CTA, PCA, TLA and valgus angles were taken for all knees.


aTEA is identifiable in all cases but sTEA in only 59 knees (62.77%). Correspondingly, CTA is calculable in all knees and PCA in 62.77% cases. Mean CTA and mean PCA were 5.4° ± 1.88° SD and 0.71° ± 1.95° SD, respectively. Mean angle between aTEA and sTEA was 4.88. TL is a line difficult to draw because of high incidence of anterior osteophytes, making CTA a more reliable parameter than TLA. Mean TLA was 10.31° ± 3.52° SD. Mean valgus resection angle was 4.86° ± 2.53° SD. Gender- or side-based differences in any of these values were not statistically different.


Using aTEA or sTEA can make a big difference in femoral component rotation; therefore, whether aTEA or sTEA should be used needs to be further investigated. CTA, PCA and valgus resection angle need to be individually calculated for each knee. Use of TLA is not recommended.


aTEA sTEA CTA PCA Valgus resection angle Rotational malalignment 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest


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Copyright information

© Istituto Ortopedico Rizzoli 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of OrthopedicsESIC Medical College and HospitalFaridabadIndia

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