The severity of preoperative varus deformity affects the feasibility of correcting lower limb alignment with medial unicompartmental knee arthroplasty

Published:November 13, 2022DOI:



      The relationship between the severity of preoperative varus deformity and the amount of its correction in unicompartmental knee arthroplasty (UKA) as well as the thickness of the insert has not been well known.


      One hundred and three patients who underwent medial fixed-bearing UKA with the use of the spacer block method were assessed. After the component gap in extension was measured using a UKA tensor, the pre-osteotomy gap was calculated from the thickness of the bone cuts. The relationship between the preoperative hip–knee–ankle (HKA) angle as well as the pre-osteotomy gap and the amount of change in HKA angle were analysed. Also, preoperative HKA angle and the thickness of the bone cuts were compared among groups by the insert thickness.


      The mean preoperative HKA angle was 7.7 ± 3.1° varus. Patients with more varus deformity and those with a wider pre-osteotomy gap showed a more valgus change in HKA angle. As for the thickness of the insert, the preoperative HKA angle of the patients with the thinnest insert was significantly smaller (less varus) than that of those with the thicker insert while no statistically significant difference was found among the insert groups regarding the amount of the bone cuts.


      The severity of the preoperative varus deformity as well as the intraoperative pre-osteotomy gap related to the amount of change in HKA angle. As thick inserts tended to be used in severe varus knees, the tibial bone cut can be reduced in such cases.


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