Total knee arthroplasty (TKA), despite being an otherwise highly successful medical operation, has a recurrent problem of dissatisfaction and recurrent pain rates in the 15-20% range. A variety of factors contribute to this incidence of dissatisfaction which can broadly be considered to fall into one of three groups: factors driven by the surgical outcome, pre-existing factors relating to the patients psychology, appropriateness for surgery or expectation level, and factors driven by the patient’s recovery and their management during that recovery process. With consideration to the extensive variation between patients, it is reasonable to posit that addressing patient specific factors in selection for surgery, alignment of components during surgery and post-operative management may reduce the instance of post-operative dissatisfaction.
The first goal of this thesis was to understand the variation of patient anatomy as it relates to standard practice in TKA. Following the finding of extensive variation, a bio-mechanical rigid body dynamics simulation of the knee joint was developed to determine the degree to which this variation was reflected in the kinematic behaviour of the implanted knees. Later studies showed extensive kinematic variation that was responsive to variation in the alignment of the components as well as well as significantly related to patient reported outcome. Later studies further investigated how outcome related to patient selection for surgery and recovery of the patient as measured with simple activity monitoring.
From this work, a pre-operative simulation assessment tool has been developed, the Dynamic Knee Score (DKS), and paired with selection and recovery management tools forms the basis of 360 Knee Systems surgical planning and patient management, which has been used in over 3,000 primary TKA’s to date.