Incidence of Radiolucent Lines after Cemented Total Knee Arthroplasty

Document Type : RESEARCH PAPER


1 Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Tan Tock Seng Hospital, Singapore

2 Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

3 Yong Loo Lin School Of Medicine, National University of Singapore


Background: Cemented Total Knee Arthroplasty (TKA) provides excellent long-term survival rates and functional results, however, radiolucent lines (RLLs) often appear during early post-operative follow-up and their incidence and clinical significance are unknown. The primary aim was to establish the incidence, location, frequency, and time taken for RLLs to appear within the first year after a primary cemented TKA with an anatomic tibial baseplate (Smith and Nephew, LEGION Total Knee System). Methods: This was a retrospective analysis of 135 primary cemented TKA in 131 patients over three years. We compared demographics, serial radiographs, and early clinical and functional outcomes. Results: There were 65 TKAs (48%) in 62 patients who had RLLs within the first year post-operatively. Most were females (58.8%). Mean age was 68.3 ± 7.9 years. There were 88 RLLs, with the most and second commonest location at the medial tibial baseplate (38%) and anterior femoral flange (23%). 89% were in the bone-cement interface. The largest average length of RLLs were at the anterior flange of the femoral component (1.98 ± 1.33 mm). The average time to development was 6.5 ± 4.1 months. None of these patients had infections nor required revision. Patients with RLLs did not do worse in functional and clinical scoring at 1-year. Conclusion: There was a 48% incidence of physiological RLLs after cemented TKA, with the highest occurrence at the medial tibial baseplate at 38%. These radiolucent lines did not affect early post-operative clinical and functional outcomes of patients. Level of evidence: III


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