The Knee, ISSN: 1873-5800, Vol: 21 Suppl 1, Issue: S1, Page: S20-5

A flat all-polyethylene tibial component in medial unicompartmental knee arthroplasty: a long-term study

Manzotti, Alfonso; Cerveri, Pietro; Pullen, Chris; Confalonieri, Norberto


The aim of this study is to present the clinical and radiological results of a cemented unicompartmental knee arthroplasty (UKA) using a flat all-polyethylene tibial component at long-term follow-up, in a homogeneous group of patients with medial femoro-tibial knee arthritis.


The study group included 53 knees in 51 patients who were treated between January 1998 and November 1999 using a flat all-polyethylene tibial component. The same surgical technique was used for all patients. Inclusion criteria included a diagnosis of atraumatic arthritis, pre-operative flexion greater than 100° with no flexion deformity, a varus deformity of less than 10°, and a body mass index (BMI) less than 35. A neutral mechanical axis was considered the end-point in all interventions. The patients were assessed clinically using the International Knee Society (IKS) and the functional scores at follow-up. Plain radiographs were used to determine the alignment of the mechanical axis at 5, 10 and 14.7-year follow-up. A radiographic analysis of loosening, based on the method described by the IKS, was performed and the degree of arthritic progression in the non-resurfaced compartment was also assessed.


At latest follow-up five patients had died and the data for three patients had not been collected. At final review four knees had undergone revision surgery and a further patient had declined a recommended revision TKA. The main indication for revision surgery was progressive aseptic loosening of the tibial component in female patients. No revisions were required because of arthritic progression in the lateral compartment. Over time the clinical outcomes did not show statistically significant differences. There was a significant worsening of the mechanical axis at the last follow-up compared with the results at five and ten year review.


This study demonstrated that, in primary arthritis involving the medial femoro-tibial compartment, UKA using a flat all-polyethylene component could be considered an effective surgical option. Attention should be paid to progressive worsening of the mechanical axis over time associated with progressive radiolucency especially in female patients.

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