Kinematic alignment in total knee arthroplasty better reproduces normal gait than mechanical alignment

William Blakeney, Julien Clément, François Desmeules, Nicola Hagemeister, Charles Rivière, Pascal-André Vendittoli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Citations (Scopus)


PURPOSE: Kinematic alignment technique for TKA aims to restore the individual knee anatomy and ligament tension, to restore native knee kinematics. The aim of this study was to compare parameters of kinematics during gait (knee flexion-extension, adduction-abduction, internal-external tibial rotation and walking speed) of TKA patients operated by either kinematic alignment or mechanical alignment technique with a group of healthy controls. The hypothesis was that the kinematic parameters of kinematically aligned TKAs would more closely resemble that of healthy controls than mechanically aligned TKAs.

METHODS: This was a retrospective case-control study. Eighteen kinematically aligned TKAs were matched by gender, age, operating surgeon and prosthesis to 18 mechanically aligned TKAs. Post-operative 3D knee kinematics analysis, performed with an optoelectronic knee assessment device (KneeKG®), was compared between mechanical alignment TKA patients, kinematic alignment TKA patients and healthy controls. Radiographic measures and clinical scores were also compared between the two TKA groups.

RESULTS: The kinematic alignment group showed no significant knee kinematic differences compared to healthy knees in sagittal plane range of motion, maximum flexion, abduction-adduction curves or knee external tibial rotation. Conversely, the mechanical alignment group displayed several significant knee kinematic differences to the healthy group: less sagittal plane range of motion (49.1° vs. 54.0°, p = 0.020), decreased maximum flexion (52.3° vs. 57.5°, p = 0.002), increased adduction angle (2.0-7.5° vs. - 2.8-3.0°, p < 0.05), and increased external tibial rotation (by a mean of 2.3 ± 0.7°, p < 0.001). The post-operative KOOS score was significantly higher in the kinematic alignment group compared to the mechanical alignment group (74.2 vs. 60.7, p = 0.034).

CONCLUSIONS: The knee kinematics of patients with kinematically aligned TKAs more closely resembled that of normal healthy controls than that of patients with mechanically aligned TKAs. This may be the result of a better restoration of the individual's knee anatomy and ligament tension. A return to normal gait parameters post-TKA will lead to improved clinical outcomes and greater patient satisfaction.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1410-1417
Number of pages8
JournalKnee surgery, sports traumatology, arthroscopy : official journal of the ESSKA
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2019
Externally publishedYes


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