Impact of Valgus vs Varus Mechanical Axis Correction During Primary Total Knee Arthroplasty on Postoperative Periarticular Bone Mineral Density

Julien Chapleau, Bradley S. Lambert, Thomas C. Sullivan, Terry A. Clyburn, Stephen J. Incavo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Knee periarticular bone mineral density (BMD) is influenced by limb malalignment. The purpose of this study is to determine if the nature and magnitude of alignment correction (ΔAlign°) performed during primary total knee arthroplasty (TKA) had an impact on BMD at the metaphysis of the distal femur (DFmr) and proximal tibia (PTb). Methods: Seventy-one patients (male = 37 |female = 34; age: 65 ± 2 years) underwent full-length standing X-rays and knee-specific BMD measurements using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry before and 3 and 6 months following TKA. A t-test was used to compare baseline demographics and knee-specific BMD measures (medial/lateral DFmr/PTb) between patients with preoperative valgus (VAL, N = 18) and varus (VAR, N = 53) malalignment. Pearson correlation analysis was used to determine if ΔAlign° correlated with site-specific knee BMD changes. A 2 (varus/valgus) by 3 (time) analysis of variance was used to compare site-specific BMD (%ΔBMD) changes following TKA. Type I error was set at α = 0.05 for all analyses. Results: VAR patients had higher preoperative BMD for medial measurement at both the DFmr (VAR: 1.17 ± 0.06 g/cm2; VAL: 1.00 ± 0.09 g/cm2) and PTb (VAR: 1.41 ± 0.07 g/cm2; VAL: 1.29 ± 0.14 g/cm2) (P < .05). ΔAlign° and %ΔBMD were correlated on the medial side of the DFmr (r = 0.393, P < .05) and lateral/medial BMD ratio at the PTb (r = −0.670, P < .01) in VAL patients. Only VAL patients had significant %ΔBMD changes at 6 months postoperative with increases on the medial side only for the DFmr and PTb (+4%-8%, P < .05). Conclusion: Valgus patients exhibited reduced medial BMD at DFmr and PTb and showed sustained improvements 6 months postsurgery. Mechanical axis correction may be clinically impactful to bone remodeling when correcting valgus malalignment. Level of Evidence: Level II, prospective cohort study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Arthroplasty
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

Keywords

  • bone mineral density
  • dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry
  • mechanical axis
  • total knee arthroplasty
  • valgus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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