A patient-specific 3D model of the knee to compare the femoral rollback before and after total knee arthroplasty (TKA)

Alexandra Mercader, Timon Röttinger, Amir Bigdeli, Tim C. Lüth, Heinz Röttinger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Purpose: Total knee arthroplasty (TKA) is nowadays performed as a standard procedure on a large number of patients suffering from arthrosis. Replacing the knee joint causes changes in the geometry and kinematics of the knee, which are unique to each individual. This research focuses on the method to detect these changes after TKA and on the impact on the knee movement. This approach could reduce complications in patients with post-operative pain and reduce the number of revisions. Methods: A 3D model of a patient’s knee was made by measuring the movement with a medically certified infrared stereo camera. This measurement was combined with the 3D model of the patient’s bones, previously segmented from the CT scan. This model is printed in 3D, one part being the mechanism that follows the movement of the patient, and the other part being the 3D copy of the femur and tibia bones. The knee replacement operation is performed directly on the model and the resulting rollback is being measured before and after TKA. Results: We observe a difference in the rollback before and after TKA on the 3D printed model. The variation in size and shape of the femoral implant compared to the natural femur condyles is one of the reasons for the changes in the rollback effect. The rollback is half as large after the prosthesis insertion, which confirms the fact that the femoral prosthesis geometry influences the knee kinematics. Conclusions: In this study, a first 3D model combining the patient-specific kinematic and the geometry of his bones has been constructed. This model allows the surgeon to validate the plan of the operation, but also to understand the problems and consequences generated by the prosthesis insertion. The rollback is one of the most important motion of the knee joint and this behavior could be quantified, providing comparative analysis of the knee joint before and after the operation. As a future study, the model could be used to analyse more parameters of the TKA such as the impact of different implantation methods.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2
JournalJournal of Experimental Orthopaedics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • Mechanism design
  • Rollback effect
  • Total knee Arthroplasty


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