Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy September 2017, Volume 25, Issue 9, pp 2887–2893

Comparison of in vivo polyethylene wear particles between mobile- and fixed-bearing TKA in the same patients

Minoda, Y., Hata, K., Ikebuchi, M. et al.


Polyethylene wear particle generation is one of the most important factors that affects the mid- to long-term results of total knee arthroplasties (TKA). Mobile-bearing total knee prostheses were developed to reduce polyethylene wear generation. However, whether mobile-bearing prostheses actually generate fewer polyethylene wear particles than fixed-bearing prostheses remains controversial. The aim of this study was to compare, within individual patients, the in vivo polyethylene wear particles created by a newly introduced mobile-bearing prosthesis in one knee and a conventional fixed-bearing prosthesis in other knee.



Eighteen patients receiving bilateral TKAs to treat osteoarthritis were included. The synovial fluid was obtained from 36 knees at an average of 3.5 years after the operation. The in vivo polyethylene wear particles were isolated from the synovial fluid using a previously validated method and examined using a scanning electron microscope and an image analyser.



The size and shape of the polyethylene wear particles from the mobile-bearing prostheses were similar to those from the conventional fixed-bearing prostheses. Although the number of wear particles from the mobile-bearing prosthesis (1.63 × 107 counts/knee) appeared smaller than that from the fixed-bearing prosthesis (2.16 × 107 counts/knee), the difference was not statistically significant.



The current in vivo study shows that no statistically significant differences were found between the polyethylene wear particles generated by a newly introduced mobile-bearing PS prosthesis and a conventional fixed-bearing PS prosthesis during the early clinical stage after implantation.


Level of evidence

Therapeutic study, Level III.

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