- Technical Note
- Open Access
Improving accuracy of total knee component cementation: description of a simple technique
© Lutes et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2009
- Received: 3 July 2009
- Accepted: 9 October 2009
- Published: 9 October 2009
Total knee arthroplasty represents a common orthopedic surgical procedure. Achieving proper alignment of its components with the predrilled patellar and tibial peg holes prior to polymerization of the bone cement can be challenging.
After establishing the femoral, patellar and tibial bone cuts, the cancellous bone around the tibial keel, as well as the peg holes for the patella and femoral components are marked with methylene blue using a cotton swab stick. If bone cement is then placed onto the cut and marked bone edges, the methylene blue leaches through the bone cement and clearly outlines the tibial keel and predrilled femoral and patellar peg holes. This allows excellent visualization of the bone preparations for each component, ensuring safe and prompt positioning of TKA components while minimizing intraoperative difficulties with component alignment while the cement hardens.
The presented technical note helps to improve the accuracy and ease of insertion when the components of total knee arthroplasty are impacted to their final position.
- Methylene Blue
- Total Knee Arthroplasty
- Bone Cement
- Acrylic Bone Cement
- Component Impaction
The prevalence of degenerative joint disease has seen a considerable increase due to general aging of the population [1–3]. Total knee arthroplasty (TKA) represents a safe and efficacious treatment option for severe arthritis of the knee [4, 5]. The volume of implanted TKA is expected to increase by 40% over the next three decades . Thus, the degenerated knee has been termed "the joint of the decade" . A favorable outcome of TKA depends on the optimal positioning of the components and soft tissue balancing rather than the choice of implant [8, 9]. Malalignment of TKA components has been associated with knee pain , poor patellar tracking , flexion gap instability , loss of motion, and early implant failure [13–15]. Of note, increased prosthetic malalignment has been noted following minimally invasive total knee arthroplasty due to decreased visualization of the operative field [16, 17]. Proper implant positioning and alignment during cemented TKA can be a challenging task. Malalignment of the pegs of the patella with acrylic bone cements, such as poly methylmethacrylate (PMMA), prior to cementation requires rotation of the patella, which may result in significant yet unwarranted extrusion of PMMA. Impaction of the tibial component in improper rotational alignment may create a larger space for the keel. These seemingly small errors shorten valuable working time with the PMMA and could become catastrophic if the polymerization phase begins and the prosthesis is in improper alignment.
In the present technical note, we describe a simple modification prior to cementation of TKA components to ensure alignment of patella peg holes, tibial keel, and femoral prosthesis. This surgical technique can be performed in as little as 30 seconds. It thus marginally prolongs the surgical case while helping to avoid intraoperatively repositioning maneuvers of implant components.
Total knee arthroplasty is a frequently performed surgical procedure . However, it is combined with inherent risks of misalignment of implant components, which is likely to result in poor clinical and long-term outcome. In the present report, we describe a simple and straight forward technical trick that helps to insure appropriate intraoperative alignment of the TKA components. The methylene blue method assists in creating reproducibly good results during component impaction and has been successfully used in over 1000 cases at our institution. It represents a safe and efficacious method that adds only about 30 seconds to the standard TKA procedure.
However, as the alignment of each component is highly depended on the location of predrilled peg holes, the presented technique can only allow better visualization for component implantation. As a result, rotational accuracy and alignment cannot be improved when predrilled peg holes are rotationally malaligned. In addition, surgeons routinely applying the cement to the prosthesis prior to component placement will not benefit from the described technical trick.
This small change in technique prior and during cementation may prevent intraoperative complications and struggles with optimizing the implant alignment during the 6-10 minute time-window until the PMMA cures , and thereby help avoide unwarranted intraoperative complications and maximize patient safety. We hope that our practical note may facilitate and assist other surgeons performing TKAs on a routine basis.
The described surgical trick has been taught by Lawrence Dorr, M.D., for many years.
- Badley EM, Wang PP: Arthritis and the aging population: projections of arthritis prevalence in Canada 1991 to 2031. J Rheumatol. 1998, 25 (1): 138-144.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Gignac MA, Davis AM, Hawker G, Wright JG, Mahomed N, Fortin PR, Badley EM: "What do you expect? You're just getting older": A comparison of perceived osteoarthritis-related and aging-related health experiences in middle- and older-age adults. Arthritis Rheum. 2006, 55 (6): 905-912. 10.1002/art.22338.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Perruccio AV, Power JD, Badley EM: Revisiting arthritis prevalence projections--it's more than just the aging of the population. J Rheumatol. 2006, 33 (9): 1856-1862.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Callahan CM, Drake BG, Heck DA, Dittus RS: Patient outcomes following tricompartmental total knee replacement. A meta-analysis. JAMA. 1994, 271 (17): 1349-1357. 10.1001/jama.271.17.1349.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Robertsson O, Knutson K, Lewold S, Lidgren L: The Swedish Knee Arthroplasty Register 1975-1997: an update with special emphasis on 41,223 knees operated on in 1988-1997. Acta Orthop Scand. 2001, 72 (5): 503-513. 10.1080/000164701753532853.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Birrell F, Johnell O, Silman A: Projecting the need for hip replacement over the next three decades: influence of changing demography and threshold for surgery. Ann Rheum Dis. 1999, 58 (9): 569-572. 10.1136/ard.58.9.569.PubMed CentralView ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Moran CG, Horton TC: Total knee replacement: the joint of the decade. A successful operation, for which there's a large unmet need. BMJ. 2000, 320 (7238): 820-10.1136/bmj.320.7238.820.PubMed CentralView ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Moreland JR: Mechanisms of failure in total knee arthroplasty. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 1988, 226: 49-64.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Lotke PA, Ecker ML: Influence of positioning of prosthesis in total knee replacement. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 1977, 59 (1): 77-79.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Barrack RL, Schrader T, Bertot AJ, Wolfe MW, Myers L: Component rotation and anterior knee pain after total knee arthroplasty. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2001, 392: 46-55. 10.1097/00003086-200111000-00006.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Matsuda S, Miura H, Nagamine R, Urabe K, Hirata G, Iwamoto Y: Effect of femoral and tibial component position on patellar tracking following total knee arthroplasty: 10-year follow-up of Miller-Galante I knees. Am J Knee Surg. 2001, 14 (3): 152-156.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Scuderi GR, Komistek RD, Dennis DA, Insall JN: The impact of femoral component rotational alignment on condylar lift-off. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2003, 410: 148-154. 10.1097/01.blo.0000063603.67412.ca.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- D'Lima DD, Chen PC, Colwell CW: Polyethylene contact stresses, articular congruity, and knee alignment. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2001, 392: 232-238. 10.1097/00003086-200111000-00029.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Ritter MA, Faris PM, Keating EM, Meding JB: Postoperative alignment of total knee replacement. Its effect on survival. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 1994, 299: 153-156.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Berend ME, Ritter MA, Meding JB, Faris PM, Keating EM, Redelman R, Faris GW, Davis KE: Tibial component failure mechanisms in total knee arthroplasty. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2004, 428: 26-34. 10.1097/01.blo.0000148578.22729.0e.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Chen AF, Alan RK, Redziniak DE, Tria AJ: Quadriceps sparing total knee replacement. The initial experience with results at two to four years. J Bone Joint Surg Br. 2006, 88 (11): 1448-1453. 10.1302/0301-620X.88B11.18052.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Dalury DF, Dennis DA: Mini-incision total knee arthroplasty can increase risk of component malalignment. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2005, 440: 77-81. 10.1097/01.blo.0000185757.17401.7b.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Kuehn KD, Ege W, Gopp U: Acrylic bone cements: composition and properties. Orthop Clin North Am. 2005, 36 (1): 17-28. 10.1016/j.ocl.2004.06.010.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.