Surgical Joint Distraction in Knee Osteoarthritis

E. Carlos Rodriguez-Merchan


Background: There is some controversy in the literature regarding the role of surgical joint distraction (SJD) in knee osteoarthritis (OA). Question: What are the benefits of SJD in knee OA?

Methods: A Cochrane Library and PubMed (MEDLINE) search related to the role of SJD in knee OA was analyzed. The chief criteria for election were that the articles were centered on the aforementioned question.

Results: 377 articles were found until April 30, 2017; however, only 9 were selected and reviewed because of their focus on clinical experience with SJD in knee OA. Two were considered level of evidence I-II, whereas 7 had a lower level of evidence (III-IV). SJD provides considerable clinical and structural ameliorations to patients with knee OA, postponing total knee arthroplasty (TKA) for at least 2 years.

Conclusions: SJD provides benefits in delaying TKR for at least 2 years, but there is a risk of pin tract infection. Moreover, of the 9 articles reviewed in this paper, 7 were reported by Dutch authors, potentially limiting the generalizability of the results. My view is that the role of SJD in knee OA is currently quite controversial and should not be recommended until further research is conducted.


Knee; Osteoarthritis; Surgical joint distraction; Benefits

Full Text: PDF HTML


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.