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Biomechanics of hyperflexion and kneeling before and after total knee arthroplasty.


The capacity to perform certain activities is frequently compromised after total knee arthroplasty (TKA) due to a functional decline resulting from decreased range of motion and a diminished ability to kneel. In this manuscript, the current biomechanical understanding of hyperflexion and kneeling before and after TKA will be discussed. Patellofemoral and tibiofemoral joint contact area, contact pressure, and kinematics were evaluated in cadaveric studies using a Tekscan pressure measuring system and Microscribe. Testing was performed on intact knees and following cruciate retaining and posterior stabilized TKA at knee flexion angles of 90°, 105°, 120°, and 135°. Three loading conditions were used to simulate squatting, double stance kneeling, and single stance kneeling. Following TKA with double stance kneeling, patellofemoral contact areas did not increase significantly at high knee flexion angle (135°). Kneeling resulted in tibial posterior translation and external rotation at all flexion angles. Moving from double to single stance kneeling tended to increase pressures in the cruciate retaining group, but decreased pressures in the posterior stabilized group. The cruciate retaining group had significantly larger contact areas than the posterior stabilized group, although no significant differences in pressures were observed comparing the two TKA designs (p < 0.05). If greater than 120° of postoperative knee range of motion can be achieved following TKA, then kneeling may be performed with less risk in the patellofemoral joint than was previously believed to be the case. However, kneeling may increase the likelihood of damage to cartilage and menisci in intact knees and after TKA increases in tibiofemoral contact area and pressures may lead to polyethyelene wear if performed on a chronic, repetitive basis.

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