It is far from clear how best to define the proper strength of soft-tissue tensioning in total knee arthroplasty (TKA). We attached a torque driver to the Monogram balancer/tensor device and measured soft-tissue tension in full extension and 90° flexion during TKA. In our surgical procedure, when we felt proper soft-tissue tension was being applied, the mean distraction force was noted to be 126N in extension and 121N in flexion. There was no significant correlation between soft-tissue tension and the postoperative flexion angle finally achieved. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to assess the actual distraction forces in relation to soft-tissue tension in TKA. Further study may reveal the most appropriate forces to achieve proper soft-tissue tension in the wide variety of circumstances presenting at knee arthroplasty.
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