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Correlation of maximum flexion with clinical outcome after total knee replacement in Asian patients

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This study aimed to determine the correlation between the amount of maximum flexion and the clinical outcome in 207 Koreans (333 knees) undergoing total knee replacement. The association of maximum flexion with clinical outcome was evaluated one year postoperatively using three scoring systems; the American Knee Society score, Western Ontario McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis index and the Short Form-36. The mean maximum flexion decreased post-operatively at 12 months from 140.1° (60° to 160°) to 133.0° (105° to 150°). Only the social function score of the Short Form-36 correlated significantly with maximum flexion (correlation coefficient = 0.180, p = 0.039). In comparative analyses of subgroups divided by a maximum flexion of 120°, we found no significant differences in any parameters except the social function score of the Short Form-36 (41.9 vs 47.3, p = 0.031). Knees with a maximum flexion of more than 135° had a better functional Western Ontario McMasters Universities Osteoarthritis index score than knees with maximum flexion of 135° or less (17.5 vs 14.3, p = 0.031). We found only weak correlation between the postoperative maximum flexion and the clinical parameters for pain relief, function and quality of life, even in Korean patients. Efforts to increase post-operative maximum flexion should be exercised with caution until concerns relating to high-flexion activities are sufficiently resolved.

Correspondence should be sent to Dr T. K. Kim; e-mail: osktk@snubh.org

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