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Abstract

The varus-valgus stability of 20 knees with unicompartmental osteoarthritis was studied in vivo at the time of total knee replacement. Intact osteoarthritic knees had an average of 11.0° of varus-valgus motion. Removal of osteophytes from the osteoarthritic compartment significantly increased the motion to 13.1° (P < 0.05), while subsequent removal of osteophytes from the nonosteoarthritic compartment further increased motion to 14.7° (P < 0.025). In primarily unicompartmental osteoarthritis, marginal osteophytes appear to stabilize osteoarthritic knees, but can cause fixed deformity.