Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc. 2022 Jun 16. doi: 10.1007/s00167-022-07027-x. Online ahead of print.
PURPOSE: Fluoroscopic knee kinematics have historically been quantified at least 1 year after total knee arthroplasty (TKA). The purpose of this study was to longitudinally assess knee kinematics at 6-12 weeks, 6 months, and 1 year after TKA to determine if earlier evaluation may be justified.
METHODS: Twenty-one patients participated after undergoing TKA with a posterior cruciate ligament-retaining fixed-bearing prosthesis. Fluoroscopic examinations of lunge, kneel, and step-up activities were performed at 12 ± 4 weeks (V1), 7 ± 2 months (V2), and 13 ± 2 months (V3) postoperatively. Images were analyzed using a three-dimensional to two-dimensional image registration technique. Maximum flexion poses for lunging and kneeling were compared between visits with repeated-measures statistical tests. For the step-up activity, mixed-effects linear models were constructed for condylar anteroposterior (AP) contact points and tibial internal rotation throughout flexion. Estimated marginal means of fitted values were plotted with 95% confidence intervals and used to compare mean kinematics between visits.
RESULTS: There were no significant changes in maximum lunging flexion over time (p = 0.405), though significant increases in maximum kneeling flexion were observed between V1 (106 ± 8°) and V2 (110 ± 9°) (p = 0.006), and V1 and V3 (113 ± 9°) (p = 0.0003). While statistical differences were calculated for lunging medial condyle AP translation and kneeling tibial internal rotation, absolute differences in condylar AP contact locations were less than ~ 2 mm between all visits during both movements. For the step-up activity, tibial internal rotation increased with flexion, and there were pair-wise significant differences at all flexion angles between V1-V2 (p < 0.001) and V1-V3 (p < 0.001). Anterior medial condylar translation was observed with flexion, with pair-wise significant differences present for V1-V3 (p = 0.005) and V2-V3 (p < 0.001). The lateral condyle exhibited initial posterior translation followed by anterior translation with increasing flexion, with pair-wise differences between all visits (p < 0.005 for all comparisons).
CONCLUSION: Though statistical differences were observed between visits for all activities, variations in estimated mean condylar positions were within ~ 2 mm from ~ 12 weeks to 1 year. Considering measurement error averages approximately 1 mm for sagittal plane translations, these results indicate that knee kinematics during kneel, lunge, and step-up activities may be sustained from as early as 12 weeks after TKA.