The effect of marginal osteophytes on reduction of varus-valgus instability in osteoarthritic knees

Authors

  • Lawrence A. Pottenger Md, Phd,

    Corresponding author
    1. Associate Professor, Section of Orthopaedics, Department of Surgery and Department of Pathology
    2. Section of Orthopaedics, Department of Surgery, and the Department of Pathology, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois.
    • Department of Surgery, University of Chicago Hospitals, 5841 South Maryland Avenue, Box 102, Chicago, IL 60637
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  • Frank M. Phillips MBBCh,

    1. Fellow, Section of Orthopaedics, Department of Surgery
    2. Section of Orthopaedics, Department of Surgery, and the Department of Pathology, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois.
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  • Louis F. Draganich PhD

    1. Assistant Professor, Section of Orthopaedics, Department of Surgery.
    2. Section of Orthopaedics, Department of Surgery, and the Department of Pathology, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois.
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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.

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