Treating Extensor Mechanism Disruption after Total Knee Arthroplasty

Robert L. Barrack, Tom Stanley, R. Allen Butler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


A consecutive series of 14 patients with chronic extensor mechanism disruption after total knee arthroplasty (TKA) were treated with allograft reconstruction. Preoperatively all patients had full passive extension but a complete extensor lag. The average time from extensor mechanism disruption to surgery was 7 months (range, 3-24 months). Two methods of reconstruction were used depending on specific indications: an Achilles tendon with calcaneal bone block (eight patients) or a quadriceps tendon-patella-patellar tendon-tibial tubercle composite graft (six patients). At followup averaging 42 months (range, 24-60 months) all patients were community ambulators, five patients used a cane, two patients used a walker, and seven patients used no assistive devices. One patient had a partial rerupture anda 45° extensor lag, one patient had a 30° extensor lag, two patients had a 15° extensor lag, and 10 patients had a lag of less than 10°. All patients thought that their functional status had been improved and were satisfied with the results of the allograft reconstruction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)98-104
Number of pages7
JournalClinical orthopaedics and related research
StatePublished - Nov 2003


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