Tibial shaft anatomy differs between Caucasians and East Asian individuals
This study examines the effect of component downsizing in a modern total knee arthroplasty (TKA) system on the laxity envelope of the knee throughout flexion. A robotic testing system was utilized to measure laxity envelopes in the implanted knee by in the anterior–posterior (AP), medial–lateral (ML), internal–external (IE) and varus–valgus (VV) directions. Five fresh-frozen cadavers were tested with a modern cruciate retaining TKA implantation, a 1-mm thinner polyethylene insert and a femoral component 2 mm smaller in the AP dimension. The downsized tibial insert was more lax throughout the flexion arc with up to 2.0 mm more laxity in the AP direction at full extension, a 43.8 % increase over the original implantation. A thinner insert consistently increased laxity throughout the arc of flexion in all degrees of freedom. Downsizing the femoral component resulted in 8.5 mm increase in AP laxity at 90°, a 73.9 % increase. In mid-flexion, downsizing the femur produced similar laxity values to the downsized insert in AP, ML, IE and VV directions. Downsizing the TKA components had significant effects on laxity throughout flexion. Downsizing a femoral component 2 mm had an equivalent increase in laxity in mid-flexion as downsizing the tibial insert 1 mm. This study quantifies the importance of choosing the appropriate implant component size, having the appropriate size available and the effect of downsizing. The laxity of the implanted knee contributes to how the implant feels to the patient and ultimately the patient’s satisfaction with their new knee.