Posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) retention may impact a patient’s awareness of their artificial joint following primary total knee arthroplasty (pTKA) due to increased proprioception and more native knee kinematics. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate whether cruciate-retaining (CR) or posterior-stabilized (PS) implants influence the Forgotten Joint Score (FJS-12) following pTKA.
We retrospectively reviewed all patients who underwent pTKA with a CR or PS implant at our institute between October 2017 and March 2021. Of the 6,258 patients identified, 5,587 did not have recorded FJS-12 scores at either three months, one year, or two years postoperatively nor a Knee Injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score for Joint Replacement (KOOS, JR) preoperatively, three months, or one year postoperatively, and these were considered lost to follow up. Thus, a total of 671 cases were identified and subsequently stratified into two cohorts based on whether they received a CR (n=236, 35%) or PS (n=435, 65%) implant. Patients who received PS implants were further divided into constrained (CoN) and non-constrained (NCoN) liner cohorts. Multivariable linear regression analysis was used to compare patient-reported outcome (PRO) scores.
There were no significant differences in PRO scores between CR and PS implants at any time point. Patients in the CoN (n=74) cohort had significantly higher FJS-12 scores at one year (CoN: 56.31 + 25.34 vs NCoN: 42.24 + 27.00, p=0.001) and two years (CoN: 58.52 + 33.71 vs NCoN: 46.97 + 27.44, p=0.013) postoperatively compared to patients in the NCoN (n=361) cohort.
Although our analysis demonstrated significant differences in FJS-12 scores at one and two years postoperatively depending upon the liner constraint, there were no significant differences in FJS-12 scores between CR and PS implants. Therefore, while retention of the PCL does not impact patient awareness of their artificial joint, the level of liner constraint may influence outcomes if the PCL is sacrificed.