Medially-Stabilized Total Knee Arthroplasty Does Not Alter Knee Laxity and Balance in Cadaveric Knees

Instability after total knee arthroplasty (TKA) can lead to suboptimal outcomes and revision surgery. Medially-stabilized implants aim to more closely replicate normal knee motion than other implants following TKA, but no study has investigated knee laxity (motion under applied loads) and balance (i.e., difference in varus/valgus motion under load) following medially-stabilized TKA. 

The primary purposes of this study were to investigate how medially-stabilized implants change knee laxity in non-arthritic, cadaveric knees and if it produces a balanced knee after TKA. 

Force-displacement data were collected on 18 non-arthritic cadaveric knees before and after arthroplasty using medially-stabilized implants. Varus-valgus and anterior-posterior laxity and varus-valgus balance were compared between native and medially-stabilized knees at 0°, 20°, 60°, and 90° under three different loading conditions. Varus-valgus and anterior-posterior laxities were not different between native and medially-stabilized knees under most testing conditions (p > 0.068), but differences of approximately 2° less varus-valgus laxity at 20° of flexion and 4mm more anterior-posterior laxity at 90° were present from native laxities (p < 0.017) Medially-stabilized implant balance had ≤1.5° varus bias at all flexion angles. 

Future studies should confirm if the consistent laxity afforded by the medially-stabilized implant is associated with better and more predictable post-operative outcomes.