Bone Joint J 2019;101-B(7 Supple C):104–107

Isolated revision of the polyethylene component at revision total knee arthroplasty has excellent survivorship at ten years

P. H. Greenwell, W. P. Shield, D. M. Chapman, D. F. Dalury


The aim of this study was to establish the results of isolated exchange of the tibial polyethylene insert in revision total knee arthroplasty (RTKA) in patients with well-fixed femoral or tibial components. We report on a series of RTKAs where only the polyethylene was replaced, and the patients were followed for a mean of 13.2 years (10.0 to 19.1).

Patients and Methods

Our study group consisted of 64 non-infected, grossly stable TKA patients revised over an eight-year period (1998 to 2006). The mean age of the patients at time of revision was 72.2 years (48 to 88). There were 36 females (56%) and 28 males (44%) in the cohort. All patients had received the same cemented, cruciate-retaining patella resurfaced primary TKA. All subsequently underwent an isolated polyethylene insert exchange. The mean time from the primary TKA to RTKA was 9.1 years (2.2 to 16.1).


At final follow-up, 13 patients had died, leaving 51 patients for study. Only seven of these patients had required re-operation. Knee Society scores (KSS) prior to RTKA were a mean of 78.4 (24 to 100). By six weeks post-revision, the mean total KSS was 93.5 (38 to 100) and at final follow-up, they had a mean of 91.6 (36 to 100).


In appropriate circumstances, where the femoral and tibial components are satisfactorily aligned and well fixed, and where the soft tissues can be balanced, a polyethylene exchange alone can provide a durable solution for these RTKA patients.

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