The Knee, ISSN: 1873-5800, Vol: 21, Issue: 2, Page: 391-5

Gait analysis of fixed bearing and mobile bearing total knee prostheses during walking: Do mobile bearings offer functional advantages?

Urwin, Samuel G; Kader, Deiary F; Caplan, Nick; St Clair Gibson, Alan; Stewart, Su


Limited previous findings have detailed biomechanical advantages following implantation with mobile bearing (MB) prostheses after total knee replacement (TKR) surgery during walking. The aim of this study was to compare three dimensional spatiotemporal, kinematic, and kinetic parameters during walking to examine whether MBs offer functional advantages over fixed bearing (FB) designs.


Sixteen patients undergoing primary unilateral TKR surgery were randomised to receive either a FB ( n = 8) or MB ( n = 8) total knee prosthesis. Eight age and gender matched controls underwent the same protocol on one occasion. A 12 camera Vicon system integrated with four force plates was used. Patients were tested pre-surgery and nine months post-surgery.


No significant differences between FB and MB groups were found at any time point in the spatiotemporal parameters. The MB group was found to have a significantly reduced frontal plane knee range of motion (ROM) at pre-surgery than the FB group (FB = 14.92 ± 4.02°; MB = 8.87 ± 4.82°), with the difference not observed post-surgery. No further significant kinematic or kinetic differences were observed between FB and MB groups. Fixed bearing and MB groups both displayed spatiotemporal, kinematic, and kinetic differences when compared to controls. Fixed bearing and MB groups differed from controls in six and five parameters at nine months post-surgery, respectively.


No functional advantages were found in knees implanted with MB prostheses during walking, with both groups indicative of similar differences when compared to normal knee biomechanics following prosthesis implantation.

Level of evidence

Level II.

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