Quadriceps Snip in 321 Revision Total Knee Arthroplasties: A Safe Technique in a Matched Cohort Study

Matthew P. Abdel, Anthony Viste, Christopher G. Salib, Daniel J. Berry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Quadriceps snips (QSs) are commonly used to gain enhanced exposure during revision total knee arthroplasties (TKAs). The goals of this study were to evaluate the longer-term clinical outcomes and complications in a contemporary cohort of patients treated with QS and to compare them to a matched cohort treated with standard exposure during revision TKAs. Methods: We retrospectively identified 3107 revision TKAs performed at our institution between 2002 and 2012. QS was performed in 321 of these knees. Each QS revision TKA was 1:1 matched to a control (standard exposure) based on age, gender, body mass index, surgery date, and reason for revision. Clinical outcomes studied included Knee Society Score, range of motion, and extensor lag. Other outcomes assessed were complications (especially extensor mechanism disruption) and survivorship. Mean follow-up was 5 years. Results: The mean Knee Society Score improvement was not significantly different between groups (P = .9). At latest follow-up, the mean range of motion was 93° in the QS group and was slightly higher at 100° in the control group (P = .002). Postoperative extensor lag of 10 degrees or more was present in 21 (6.7%) QS knees versus 19 (6.8%) control knees (P = .95). Complication rates were similar in both groups with extensor mechanism disruption occurring in 3 in the QS group (0.7% at 10 years) versus 4 in the control group (0.8% at 10 years; P = .91). Kaplan-Meier survivorships free of revision for aseptic loosening, free of any revision, and free of any reoperation were similar at 10 years (85%, 71%, and 61%, respectively, in the QS group vs 89%, 70% and 60%, respectively, in the control group). Conclusion: This matched cohort study is the largest to report the results of QS and also the largest to report results compared with patients treated with standard exposure. Building on the results of smaller historical series, this study demonstrates QS was a facile technique in complex revision TKAs allowing for safe exposure with few complications. Level of Evidence: III (case-control study).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3004-3011.e1
JournalJournal of Arthroplasty
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2019


  • exposure
  • extensor lag
  • extensor mechanism disruption
  • quadriceps snip
  • revision total knee arthroplasty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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