The Journal of Arthroplasty, Volume 31, Issue 9, 2019 - 2024

Comparative Fixation and Subsidence Profiles of Cementless Unicompartmental Knee Arthroplasty Implants

Yildirim, Gokce et al.


Aseptic loosening is the primary cause of failure for both cemented and cementless unicondylar knee replacements (UKRs). Micromotion and subsidence of tibial baseplate are two causes of failure, due to poor fixation and misalignment, respectively.


Stair ascent activity profiles from Bergmann et al and Li et al were used. Biphasic Sawbones models were prepared according to the surgical techniques of traditional and novel cementless UKRs. Implants were tested for 10,000 cycles representing post-operative bone interdigitation period, and micromotion was observed using speckle pattern measurements, which demonstrated sufficient resolution. Additionally, the test method proposed by Liddle et al was used to measure subsidence with pressure sensors under increasingly lateralized loading.


Mean displacement due to micromotion for mediolateral and anteroposterior plane was consistently greater for traditional cementless UKR. Mean displacement for axial micromotion was significantly higher for traditional UKR at the anterior aspect of the implant; however, values were lower for the medial periphery of the implant. Subsidence was significantly lower for the novel design with increasingly lateralized loading, and indentation was not observed on the test substrate, when compared to the traditional design.


Our findings demonstrate that the novel cementless design is capable of fixation and elimination of subsidence in laboratory test settings. Both designs limit micromotion to below the established loosening micromotion value of 150 μm. The L-shaped keel design resists both micromotion and subsidence and may prevent failure modes that can lead to aseptic loosening for UKRs. These findings are highly relevant for clinical application.

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