Wound closure in flexion versus extension following total knee arthroplasty: a systematic review.

Toby O Smith, Leigh Davies, Caroline B Hing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Citations (Scopus)


Optimising knee range of motion following total knee arthroplasty (TKA) is important for patient satisfaction, functional outcome and early rehabilitation to promote accelerated discharge. Historically, wound closure following TKA has been performed in extension. It has been suggested that knee position during wound closure may influence range of motion and clinical outcomes following TKA. The purpose of this study was to determine whether TKA wounds should be closed in flexion or extension. An electronic search of MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL and AMED databases was made in addition to a review of unpublished material. All included papers were critically appraised using a modified PEDro (Physiotherapy Evidence Database) critical appraisal tool. Three papers were eligible, assessing 237 TKAs. On analysis, patients with TKA wounds closed in flexion had greater flexion range of motion and required less domiciliary physiotherapy compared to those with wounds closed in full extension. The specific degree of knee flexion used when closing total knee replacement wounds may be an important variable to clinical outcome. However, the present evidence-base is limited in both size and methodological quality.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)298-306
Number of pages9
JournalActa orthopaedica Belgica
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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