Does the joint line matter in revision total knee replacement?

A Porteous, MAA Hassaballa, JH Newman

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

    63 Citations (Scopus)


    We identified 148 patients who had undergone a revision total knee replacement using a single implant system between 1990 and 2000. Of these 18 patients had died, six had developed a peri-prosthetic fracture and ten had incomplete records or radiographs. This left 114 with prospectively-collected radiographs and Bristol knee scores available for study. The height of the joint line before and after revision total knee replacement was measured and classified as either restored to within 5 mm of the pre-operative height or elevated if it was positioned more than 5 mm above the pre-operative height. The joint line was elevated in 41 knees (36%) and restored in 73 (64%). Revision surgery significantly improved the mean Bristol knee score from 41.1 (SD 15.9) pre-operatively to 80.5 (SD 15) post-operatively (p <0.001). At one year post-operatively both the total Bristol knee score and its functional component were significantly better in the restored group than in the elevated group (p <0.01). Overall, revision from a unicondylar knee replacement required less use of bone graft, fewer component augments, restored the joint line more often and gave a significantly better total Bristol knee score (p <0.02) and functional score (p <0.01) than revision from total knee replacement. Our findings show that restoration of the joint line at revision total knee replacement gives a significantly better result than leaving it unrestored by more than 5 mm. We recommend the greater use of distal femoral augments to help to achieve this goal.
    Translated title of the contributionDoes the joint line matter in revision total knee replacement?
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)879 - 884
    Number of pages6
    JournalJournal of Bone and Joint Surgery
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2008


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