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The Bone & Joint Journal
Vol. 106-B, Issue 6 | Pages 525 - 531
1 Jun 2024
MacDessi SJ van de Graaf VA Wood JA Griffiths-Jones W Bellemans J Chen DB

The aim of mechanical alignment in total knee arthroplasty is to align all knees into a fixed neutral position, even though not all knees are the same. As a result, mechanical alignment often alters a patient’s constitutional alignment and joint line obliquity, resulting in soft-tissue imbalance. This annotation provides an overview of how the Coronal Plane Alignment of the Knee (CPAK) classification can be used to predict imbalance with mechanical alignment, and then offers practical guidance for bone balancing, minimizing the need for soft-tissue releases.

Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2024;106-B(6):525–531.

Bone & Joint Open
Vol. 5, Issue 2 | Pages 109 - 116
8 Feb 2024
Corban LE van de Graaf VA Chen DB Wood JA Diwan AD MacDessi SJ


While mechanical alignment (MA) is the traditional technique in total knee arthroplasty (TKA), its potential for altering constitutional alignment remains poorly understood. This study aimed to quantify unintentional changes to constitutional coronal alignment and joint line obliquity (JLO) resulting from MA.


A retrospective cohort study was undertaken of 700 primary MA TKAs (643 patients) performed between 2014 and 2017. Lateral distal femoral and medial proximal tibial angles were measured pre- and postoperatively to calculate the arithmetic hip-knee-ankle angle (aHKA), JLO, and Coronal Plane Alignment of the Knee (CPAK) phenotypes. The primary outcome was the magnitude and direction of aHKA, JLO, and CPAK alterations.