It is important to investigate anatomical differences of the femur and tibia three-dimensionally between varus and valgus knees to enhance surgical approaches and better understand structural factors related to specific patterns of osteoarthritis progression. Three-dimensional femoral and tibial bone models were reconstructed from transverse computed-tomography scans in varus osteoarthritis (43 knees), valgus osteoarthritis (40 knees), and healthy (32 knees) groups. Different coordinate systems were defined in each femoral bone model (“Knee” and “Hip” Coordinate System). Femoral neck inclination, lateral bowing, anterior bowing, and neck anteversion were measured and compared between knee and hip coordinate systems. Those parameters were also compared between varus, valgus, and healthy groups. The tibial anterior and lateral bowing, external torsion and the fibular axis relative to the tibial mechanical axis were measured and compared between varus and valgus groups. Femoral neck anteversion was significantly 1–2° greater in the hip coordinate system compared to the knee coordinate system. Femoral neck anteversion was significantly smaller in varus knees than in healthy or valgus knees, with average difference of approximately 5°. The knee and hip joint are often rotated externally relative to the trunk axis in patients with varus osteoarthritis, perhaps maintaining the geometric relations between pelvis and proximal femur (including peripheral hip muscles) regardless of knee deformities. The fibular axis was inclined slightly valgus and posteriorly in two groups. The results may inform hypotheses on, and future studies of, skeletal morphologic development and factors contributing to the progression of knee osteoarthritis.
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