The Knee, ISSN: 1873-5800, Vol: 22, Issue: 6, Page: 542-6

Kinematics of passive flexion following balanced and overstuffed fixed bearing unicondylar knee arthroplasty

Cassidy, Kevin A; Tucker, Scott M; Rajak, Yogesh; Kia, Mohammad; Imhauser, Carl W; Westrich, Geoffrey H; Heyse, Thomas J


  • Tibiofemoral kinematics of fixed bearing, nonconforming unicompartmental knee arthroplasty (UKA) in balanced and overstuffed configurations were reported relative to the native knee in a cadaveric model of passive flexion.
  • With subjectively balanced medial UKA, the tibia was positioned medially, anteriorly, and distally, and was oriented in external rotation and valgus relative to the native knee.
  • Compared to balanced UKA, overstuffing by one millimeter increased distal position and valgus angulation of the tibia, and maintained differences in anterior-posterior position and axial rotation of the tibia relative to the native knee during passive flexion.



Progression of osteoarthritis in the unreplaced compartment following unicondylar knee arthroplasty (UKA) may be hastened if kinematics is disturbed following UKA implantation. The purpose of this study was to analyze tibiofemoral kinematics of the balanced and overstuffed UKA in comparison with the native knee during passive flexion since this is a common clinical assessment.


Ten cadaveric knees were mounted to robotic manipulator and underwent passive flexion from 0 to 90°. The kinematic pathway was recorded in the native knee and in the balanced, fixed bearing UKA. The medial UKA was implanted using a measured resection technique. Additionally, a one millimeter thicker tibial insert was installed to simulate the effects of overstuffing. Tibial kinematics in relation to the femur was recorded.


Following UKA the tibia was externally rotated, and in valgus relative to the native knee near extension. In flexion, installing the UKA caused the knee to be translated medially and anteriorly. The tibia was translated distally through the entire range of flexion after UKA. Compared to the balanced UKA, overstuffing further increased valgus at full extension and distal translation of the tibia from full extension to 45° flexion.


UKA implantation altered tibiofemoral kinematics in all planes. Differences were small; nevertheless, they may affect tibiofemoral loading patterns.

Clinical Relevance

Alterations in tibiofemoral kinematics following UKA might have implications for prosthesis failure and progression of osteoarthritis in the remaining compartment. Overstuffing should be avoided as it further increased valgus and did not improve the remaining kinematics.

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