We investigated whether the extension gap in total knee replacement (TKR) would be changed when the femoral component was inserted. The extension gap was measured with and without the femoral component in place in 80 patients with varus osteoarthritis undergoing posterior-stabilised TKR. The effect of a post-operative increase in the size of the femoral posterior condyles was also evaluated. The results showed that placement of the femoral component significantly reduced the medial and lateral extension gaps by means of 1.0 mm and 0.9 mm, respectively (p < 0.0001). The extension gap was reduced when a larger femoral component was selected relative to the thickness of the resected posterior condyle. When the post-operative posterior lateral condyle was larger than that pre-operatively, 17 of 41 knees (41%) showed a decrease in the extension gap of > 2.0 mm. When a specially made femoral trial component with a posterior condyle enlarged by 4 mm was tested, the medial and lateral extension gaps decreased further by means of 2.1 mm and 2.8 mm, respectively. If the thickness of the posterior condyle is expected to be larger than that pre-operatively, it should be recognised that the extension gap is likely to be altered. This should be taken into consideration when preparing the extension gap.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine