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Highly variable tibial tubercle-trochlear groove distance (TT-TG) in osteoarthritic knees should be considered when performing TKA

Bettina Hochreiter, Michael T Hirschmann, Felix Amsler & Henrik Behrend


The tibial tubercle-trochlear groove distance (TT-TG) is an established measurement to assist diagnosis and treatment of patellofemoral instability. However, little is known about the distribution of TT-TG in osteoarthritic knees. The purpose of the current study is to investigate the TT-TG in a large cohort of osteoarthritic knees and to analyse, in particular, the association of knee alignment and TT-TG.

Data from 962 consecutive patients [455 male, 507 female; mean age ± SD 70.8 ± 9.3 (37-96)] who had undergone 3D-CT and preoperative knee planning with validated commercial 3D planning software before total knee arthroplasty (TKA) were collected prospectively. The TT-TG, coronal hip knee ankle angle (HKA), femoral anteversion (AVF), external tibial torsion (ETT), and femorotibial rotation (Rot FT) were analysed. Pearson correlations were performed to assess correlations between TT-TG, mechanical axis, and rotational parameters (p < 0.05).

HKA showed a strong correlation with TT-TG (r = 0.488; p < 0.001) with 98 (67.1%) and 45 (30.8%) of valgus knees having respective abnormal and pathological TT-TG values. There were no significant correlations between parameters of rotational alignment (AVF, ETT, Rot FT) and TT-TG. Mean TT-TG was 12.9 ± 5.6 mm, ranging from 0.0 to 33.7 mm. 325 (33.8%) of all patients had abnormal (> 15 mm) and 101 (10.5%) had pathological (> 20 mm) values. A varus alignment was present in 716 (74.4%) of the cases (HKA < - 1.5°), a neutral alignment in 100 (10.4%), and a valgus alignment in 146 (15.2%) (HKA > 1.5°).

A wide variation of TT-TG values in osteoarthritic knees was shown by our results. There was a relevant influence of coronal limb alignment on the TT-TG-the more valgus the higher and more pathological the TT-TG. With the aim of having a more personalised TKA, the individual TT-TG should be taken into account to improve the outcome.

III. Retrospective cohort study.
Zitation Hochreiter B, Hirschmann M T, Amsler F, Behrend H. Highly variable tibial tubercle-trochlear groove distance (TT-TG) in osteoarthritic knees should be considered when performing TKA. Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc 2018;.
Typ Wissenschaftlicher Artikel/Review (Englisch)
Veröffentlichungsdatum 21-09-2018
Titel der Zeitschrift Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc
ISSN electronic 1433-7347
PubMed 30242453
DOI 10.1007/s00167-018-5141-x