Experience Influences the Agreement and Reliability of Tibial Component Positioning in Total Knee Arthroplasty

Derek F. Amanatullah, Graham D. Pallante, Matthieu P. Ollivier, Alexander W. Hooke, Matthew P. Abdel, Michael J. Taunton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Poor rotation of the tibial component is associated with unfavorable total knee arthroplasty outcomes. Some surgeons utilize the tibial tubercle (TT method), while others utilize the femoral cam (Box method) as a rotational landmark during total knee arthroplasty. Our purpose is to determine the reproducibility of 2 methods for establishing intra-operative tibial component rotation, while also comparing the effect of level of training. Methods: Twelve surgeons positioned and sized a symmetric tibial component on 7 cadaver knees. Surgeons were allowed to utilize their preferred method for establishing tibial component rotation. Seven surgeons selected the TT method, 4 utilized the Box method, and 1 used both methods depending on the specimen. Repeat measurements were completed by each surgeon after a rest period. The differences between tibial tray positions were assessed using computer-assisted optoelectronic measurements. Intra-class correlation coefficients were calculated to determine inter-observer agreement (IOA) and intra-rater reliability (IRR). Results: Overall, both the Box method and the TT method demonstrated high IRR for tibial component rotation. Experienced surgeons were more consistent at establishing component rotation regardless of technique. Trainees were more consistent when utilizing the Box method (IRR 0.96, IOA 0.94) than the TT method (IRR 0.71, IOA 0.72). Conclusion: Surgeon experience influences the agreement and reliability of tibial component position. For less experienced surgeons, the Box method was more effective than the TT method for consistently reproducing tibial component rotation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1231-1234
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Arthroplasty
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2018


  • Box method
  • TKA
  • Tibial tubercle method
  • agreement
  • level of training
  • reliability
  • tibial component rotation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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