Mechanical Strength of the Proximal Tibia Following Total Knee Arthroplasty: A Cadaveric Study of Resection Depth and Bone Density.
Sueyoshi T., Small SR., Elliott JB., Gibbs GE., Seale RB., Ritter MA.
BACKGROUND: Tibial component failure has been a problem in total knee arthroplasty, it is still undetermined how tibial resection depth affects the strength to support a tibial component. This study examined the relationship between the resection depth and the bone density and the mechanical strength to support the tibial component. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Eight matched pairs of fresh, frozen cadaver lower legs were imaged with computed tomography to assess the bone density. A right tibia was resected at minimum resection level and a left tibia was resected at deep resection level. After the tibial component was implanted with cement on each tibia, it was loaded on a materials testing load frame to measure the stiffness and the load to failure. RESULTS: The average bone density at the minimum resection level of the tibia was significantly higher than at deep level (p=0.0003). The average stiffness and load to failure of the proximal tibia were 1105 N/mm (range 889 to 1303 N/mm) and 5626 N (range 3360 to 9098 N). There was no statistical correlation between tibial resection depth and the axial stiffness (p=0.4107) or the load to failure (p=0.1487). CONCLUSIONS: Although the bone density at a minimum resection level was higher than that at a deep level, the strength to support the tibial component was not statistically higher at a minimum cutting level than at a deeper cutting level proportionally. Surgeons may not need to minimize a proximal tibial bone resection to maintain a stronger support for a tibial component.