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Title: Kinematic alignment and total knee arthroplasty
Author: Waterson, Hugh Benedict
ISNI:       0000 0004 7429 3651
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2018
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Osteoarthritis (OA) is one of the leading causes of global disability. Surgical intervention in the form of Total Knee Arthroplasty (TKA) has been established as an excellent treatment modality for people with OA who experience joint symptoms that have a substantial impact on their quality of life and are refractory to non-surgical treatment. In the 1970s the concept of implanting TKAs in mechanical alignment (MA) was developed as a compromise to confer mechanical advantage to the prosthesis, ignoring the patient's natural anatomy, to prevent early failure of the implant. Until now, this compromise has not been revisited. Satisfaction following TKA remains inferior to total hip arthroplasty. The cause of this dissatisfaction is not clear. Implant survival is no longer comparable to that of the early designs of TKA, and recent studies have suggested that deviation from neutral alignment does not have the detrimental effect on survivorship as previously thought. In an attempt to improve patient satisfaction following TKA a new technique has been developed whereby the prostheses are implanted in such a way as to recreate the alignment of the knee in the patient's pre-arthritic state. This has been termed natural or kinematic alignment (KA). This thesis examines the impact of KA in TKA with the primary hypothesis that TKA performed utilising KA would lead to improved functional outcome following surgery compared to that of MA. An initial single surgeon proof of concept case series of 25 patients was performed to look at the precision of new patient specific cutting blocks. The results suggested that the cutting blocks were accurate in producing the desired cuts. Following the proof of concept case series, a feasibility study was then performed comparing the new KA technique with the standard MA technique. The feasibility study familiarised the operating surgeons with the new technology in preparation for a Randomised Control Trial (RCT). A prospective blinded RCT was performed to compare the functional outcome of patients implanted with TKA in MA with that of KA. A total of 71 patients undergoing TKA were randomised to either MA (n=35) or KA (n=36). Preand post-operative hip knee ankle (HKA) radiographs were analysed. A number of patient reported outcome measures and functional tests were assessed pre-operatively, 6 weeks, 3 months, 6 months, and at 1 year post-operation. The cutting guides were accurate. There were no statistically significant differences between the MA and KA groups at 1 year. A cohort of post-menopausal women with unilateral osteoarthritis treated with TKA utilising the KA philosophy had dual energy x-ray absorptiometry scans 1.5 years post-operatively using a modified validated densitometric analysis protocol, to assess peri-prosthetic Bone Mineral Density (BMD). The contralateral knee was scanned so that relative bone mineral density could be calculated. Statistical analysis revealed no significant difference in relative peri-prosthetic bone mineral density due to variation in implant position with respect to the Lateral Distal Femoral Angle (LDFA) and the Medial Proximal Tibial Angle (MPTA). There was a significant correlation with overall HKA angle and the relative BMD under the medial side of the tibial tray. KA TKAs appear to have comparable short-term results to MA TKAs with no significant differences in function 1 year post-operatively. Overall HKA angle rather than the individual component position caused change in relative BMD under the tibial tray, therefore aiming for an anatomical joint line may improve kinematics without a detrimental effect on the implant. Further research is required to see if any theoretical long-term functional benefits of KA are realised or if there are any potential effects on implant survival.
Supervisor: Brenkel, Ivan ; Simpson, Hamish Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: total knee arthroplasty kinematic alignment ; knee replacements ; patient reported outcomes