BACKGROUND: The aims of this study were to (1) describe our functional stepwise multiple needle puncturing (MNP) technique as the final step in medial ligament balancing during total knee arthroplasty (TKA) and (2) evaluate whether this technique can provide sufficient medial release with safety.
METHODS: A total of 137 patients with 212 consecutive knees who underwent TKAs with or without functional stepwise MNP of superficial medial collateral ligament was recruited in this prospective cohort. Eighty-one patients with 129 knees who performed serial stress radiographs were enrolled in the final assessment. Superficial medial collateral ligament was punctured selectively (anteriorly or posteriorly or both) and sequentially depending on the site and degree of tightness. Mediolateral stability was assessed using serial stress radiographs and comparison was performed between the MNP and the non-MNP groups at postoperative 6 months and 1 year. Clinical outcomes were also evaluated between 2 groups.
RESULTS: Fifty-five TKAs required additional stepwise MNP (anterior needling 19, posterior needling 3, both anterior and posterior needling 33). Preoperative hip-knee-ankle angle and the difference in varus-valgus stress angle showed significant difference between the MNP and the non-MNP groups, respectively (P = .009, P = .037). However, there was no significant difference when comparing the varus-valgus stress angle between the MNP and the non-MNP groups during serial assessment. Clinical outcomes including range of motion also showed no significant differences between the 2 groups.
CONCLUSION: Functional medial ligament balancing with stepwise MNP can provide sufficient medial release with safety in TKA with varus aligned knee without clinical deterioration or complication such as instability.
LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Level II, Prospective cohort study.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.