PURPOSE: A systematic review was conducted to answer the following questions: (1) Does kinematically aligned (KA) total knee arthroplasty (TKA) achieve clinical outcomes comparable to those of mechanically aligned (MA) TKA? (2) How do the limb, knee, and component alignments differ between KA and MA TKA? (3) How is joint line orientation angle (JLOA) changed from the native knee in KA TKA compared to that in MA TKA?
METHODS: Nine full-text articles in English that reported the clinical and radiological outcomes of KA TKA were included. Five studies had a control group of patients who underwent MA TKA. Data on patient demographics, clinical scores, and radiological results were extracted. There were two level I, one level II, three level III, and three level IV studies. Six of the nine studies used patient-specific instrumentation, one study used computer navigation, and two studies used manual instrumentation.
RESULTS: The clinical outcomes of KA TKA were comparable or superior to those of MA TKA with a minimum 2-year follow-up. Limb and knee alignment in KA TKA was similar to those in MA TKA, and component alignment showed slightly more varus in the tibial component and slightly more valgus in the femoral component. The JLOA in KA TKA was relatively parallel to the floor compared to that in the native knee and not oblique (medial side up and lateral side down) compared to that in MA TKA. The implant survivorship and complication rate of the KA TKA were similar to those of the MA TKA.
CONCLUSION: Similar or better clinical outcomes were produced by using a KA TKA at early-term follow-up and the component alignment differed from that of MA TKA. KA TKA seemed to restore function without catastrophic failure regardless of the alignment category up to midterm follow-up. The JLOA in KA TKA was relatively parallel to the floor similar to the native knee compared to that in MA TKA. The present review of nine published studies suggests that relatively new kinematic alignment is an acceptable and alternative alignment to mechanical alignment, which is better understood. Further validation of these findings requires more randomized clinical trials with longer follow-up.
LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Level II.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.