Knee Surg Relat Res.  2015 Sep;27(3):173-180. 10.5792/ksrr.2015.27.3.173.

Significant Incidence of Extra-Articular Tibia Vara Affects Radiological Outcome of Total Knee Arthroplasty

  • 1Department of Orthopaedics, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India.
  • 2Department of Radiology, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India.


To identify and quantify the presence of extra-articular tibia vara that might influence the mechanical axis alignment after total knee arthroplasty (TKA).
A total of 48 TKAs in 30 osteoarthritic Indian patients were prospectively evaluated. The hip-knee-ankle angle (HKA), joint line convergence angle, and varus angulation at the femur and tibia were measured from the preoperative and postoperative standing hip-to-ankle radiographs. Four different methods were used to measure the varus angulation at the tibia: metaphyseo-diaphyseal angle (MDA), the angle between the anatomical axis and mechanical axis of the tibia, the angle between the proximal third and distal third of tibia and the angle between the proximal half and distal half of tibia.
Extra-articular tibia vara quantified using MDA had the most positive correlation with HKA. Receiver operating characteristic plotting showed that MDA of >4degrees predicts abnormal postoperative HKA. Twenty-eight out of 48 knees had MDA of >4degrees, and 78.6% of these had postoperative HKA under-correction and 21.4% had less than ideal tibial component position.
A significant inherent extra-articular varus angulation best measured using MDA exists in the proximal tibia in osteoarthritic Indian patients undergoing TKA. MDA of >4degrees is associated with abnormal postoperative HKA. Computer navigation may be useful for achieving ideal correction in such cases.


Knee; Osteoarthritis; Arthroplasty; Tibia vara; Malalignment; Indian
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