Published online Nov 18, 2015. doi: 10.5312/wjo.v6.i10.795
Peer-review started: May 14, 2015
First decision: June 24, 2015
Revised: August 5, 2015
Accepted: September 7, 2015
Article in press: September 8, 2015
Published online: November 18, 2015
Despite improvements in technique and technology for total knee arthroplasty (TKA), anterior knee pain impacts patient outcomes and satisfaction. Addressing the prosthetic and surgical technique related causes of pain after TKA, specifically as it relates to anterior knee pain, can aid surgeons in addressing these issues with their patients. Design features of the femoral and patellar components which have been reported as pain generators include: Improper femoral as well as patellar component sizing or designs that result in patellofemoral stuffing; a shortened trochlear groove distance from the flange to the intercondylar box; and then surgical technique related issues resulting in: Lateral patellar facet syndrome; overstuffed patella/flange combination; asymmetric patellar resurfacing, improper transverse plane component rotation resulting in patellar subluxation/tilt. Any design consideration that allows impingement of extensor mechanism anatomical elements has the possibility of impacting outcome by becoming a pain generator. As the number of TKA procedures continues to increase, it is increasingly critical to develop improved, evidence based prostheses that maximize function and patient satisfaction while minimizing pain and other complications.
Core tip: Anterior knee pain continues to be problematic following primary total knee arthroplasty (TKA) procedures, oftentimes leading to revision surgery. While certain non-modifiable patient factors may lead to persistent post-operative pain, there are many modifiable elements including those related to the prosthesis and to surgical technique that also contribute. Addressing the prosthetic causes of TKA failure will allow improvements in implant design which may result in a decreased incidence of revision surgery. This paper aims to address several aspects of prosthetic design including femoral and patellar component features which may contribute to the development of anterior knee pain following TKA.