J Korean Orthop Assoc.  2020 Feb;55(1):62-70. 10.4055/jkoa.2020.55.1.62.

External Tibial Torsion with Proximal Tibia Vara in Total Knee Arthroplasty of Advanced Osteoarthritis with Severe Varus Deformed Knees

  • 1Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Daejeon Sun Hospital, Daejeon, Korea. mydangjang@naver.com


External tibia torsion and proximal tibial vara have been reported in severe varus deformed osteoarthritis, which is a tibio-femoral angle of more than 20°. The radiology measurements were compared with those of control group and the preoperative and follow-up radiology and clinical results were examined.
From January 2007 to March 2016, 43 knees from 37 persons, who underwent total knee arthroplasty for a severe varus deformity of more than 20° on the tibio-femoral angle on the standing radiographs and had a follow-up period more than two years, were examined. The mean follow-up period was 45.7 months. The control group, who underwent conservative treatments, had Kellgren-Lawrence grade three osteoarthritis and a tibio-femoral angle of less than 3° varus. The external tibial torsion of enrolled patients and control group were estimated using the proximal tibio-fibular overlap length and the tibial torsion values on computed tomography. The proximal tibia vara was measured using the proximal tibial tilt angle. The preoperative and postoperative proximal tibio-fibular overlap length, tibial torsion value, proximal tibial tilt angle, and hospital for special surgery (HSS) score were evaluated.
The mean proximal tibio-fibular overlap length was 18.6 mm preoperatively and 11.2 mm (p=0.031) at the follow-up. The control group had a mean proximal tibio-fibular overlap length of 8.7 mm (p=0.024). The mean tibial torsion value was 13.8° preoperatively and 14.0° (p=0.489) at the follow-up. The control group had a mean tibial torsion value of 21.9° (p=0.012). The mean proximal tibial tilt angle was 12.2° preoperatively and 0° (p<0.01) at the follow-up. The control group had a mean proximal tilt angle of 1.2° (p<0.01). The preoperative tibiofemoral angle and mechanical axis deviation were corrected from preoperative 28.3° and medial 68.4 mm to postoperative 0.7° and medial 3.5 mm (p<0.01, p<0.01), respectively. The HSS scores increased from 34 points of preoperatively to 87 points at the last follow-up (p=0.028).
Patients with advanced osteoarthritis with a severe varus deformity of more than 20° had significant increases in the external tibial torsion and varus of the proximal tibia. The tibial torsion value before and after surgery in the enrolled patients was not changed statistically, but good clinical results without complications were obtained.


proximal tibia; external tibial torsion; total knee arthroplasty

MeSH Terms

Arthroplasty, Replacement, Knee*
Congenital Abnormalities
Follow-Up Studies
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