We hypothesized changes in rotations and translations after TKA with a fixed-bearing anterior cruciate ligament (ACL)-sacrificing but posterior cruciate ligament (PCL)-retaining design with equal-sized, circular femoral condyles would reflect the changes of articular geometry. Using 8 cadaveric knees, we compared the kinematics of normal knees and TKA in a standardized navigated position with defined loads. The quadriceps was tensed and moments and drawer forces applied during knee flexion-extension while recording the kinematics with the navigation system. TKA caused loss of the screw-home; the flexed tibia remained at the externally rotated position of normal full knee extension with considerably increased external rotation from 63 degrees to 11 degrees extension. The range of internal-external rotation was shifted externally from 30 degrees to 20 degrees extension. There was a small tibial posterior translation from 40 degrees to 90 degrees flexion. The varus-valgus alignment and laxity did not change after TKA. Thus, navigated TKA provided good coronal plane alignment but still lost some aspects of physiologic motion. The loss of tibial screw-home was related to the symmetric femoral condyles, but the posterior translation in flexion was opposite the expected change after TKA with the PCL intact and the ACL excised. Thus, the data confirmed our hypothesis for rotations but not for translations. It is not known whether the standard navigated position provides the best match to physiologic kinematics.
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