Purpose: The anteroposterior (AP) axis connecting the middle of the posterior cruciate ligament to the medial border of the patellar tendon at its attachment has been introduced as a reproducible and reliable reference perpendicular to the surgical epicondylar axis in healthy knees. A recent literature has reported that the AP axis of the tibia is, on average, almost perpendicular to the surgical epicondylar axis also in varus and valgus knees and can be used as a tibial rotational reference to minimize the risk for rotational mismatch between the femoral and tibial components in total knee arthroplasty (TKA). However, it is difficult to identify the AP axis after tibial resection. The purpose of the current study was to determine a modified AP axis that runs parallel to the AP axis and passes through the centre of the cut surface in osteoarthritic knees. Methods: Preoperative computed tomography scans on 30 varus and 30 valgus knees undergoing TKA were studied using a three-dimensional software. The modified AP axis that runs parallel to the AP axis and passes through the centre of the cut surface was drawn. We investigated where the modified AP axis crossed the patellar tendon at its tibial attachment. Results: The modified AP axis passed through the medial 1/6 of the patellar tendon (4 mm from medial edge) at its attachment in both varus and valgus knees. Conclusions: The AP axis of the tibia is useful as a tibial rotational reference in cutting the proximal tibia, but it is difficult to identify the AP axis after tibial resection. The clinical relevance of this study is that medial 1/6 of the patellar tendon at its attachment would be a useful landmark in aligning the tibial component. Level of evidence: IV.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine