Quantifying Achievable Levels of Improvement in Knee Joint Biomechanics During Gait After Total Knee Arthroplasty Relative to Osteoarthritis Severity

in Journal of Applied Biomechanics
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Total knee arthroplasty (TKA) surgery improves knee joint kinematics and kinetics during gait for most patients, but a lack of evidence exists for the level and incidence of improvement that is achieved. The objective of this study was to quantify patient-specific improvements in knee biomechanics relative to osteoarthritis (OA) severity levels. Seventy-two patients underwent 3-dimensional (3D) gait analysis before and 1 year after TKA surgery, as well as 72 asymptomatic adults and 72 with moderate knee OA. A combination of principal component analysis and discriminant analyses were used to categorize knee joint biomechanics for patients before and after surgery relative to asymptomatic, moderate, and severe OA. Post-TKA, 63% were categorized with knee biomechanics consistent with moderate OA, 29% with severe OA, and 8% asymptomatic. The magnitude and pattern of the knee adduction moment and angle (frontal plane features) were the most significant contributors in discriminating between pre-TKA and post-TKA knee biomechanics. Standard of care TKA improves knee biomechanics during gait to levels most consistent with moderate knee OA and predominately targets frontal plane features. These results provide evidence for the level of improvement in knee biomechanics that can be expected following surgery and highlight the biomechanics most targeted by surgery.

Outerleys, Dunbar, Richardson, Hubley-Kozey, and Astephen Wilson are with the School of Biomedical Engineering, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, Canada. Dunbar, Richardson, and Astephen Wilson are also with the Department of Surgery, Division of Orthopaedics, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, Canada. Hubley-Kozey is with the School of Physiotherapy, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, Canada. Astephen Wilson is with the Department of Surgery, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada.

Outerleys (jouterleys@bwh.harvard.edu) is corresponding author.
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