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.
- bone mineral density
- dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry
- mechanical axis
- total knee arthroplasty
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine