Bone & Joint ResearchVol. 9, No. 6

Limb position influences component orientation in Oxford mobile bearing unicompartmental knee arthroplasty

Sachin Tapasvi, Anshu Shekhar, Shantanu Patil, Hemant Pandit


The mobile bearing Oxford unicompartmental knee arthroplasty (OUKA) is recommended to be performed with the leg in the hanging leg (HL) position, and the thigh placed in a stirrup. This comparative cadaveric study assesses implant positioning and intraoperative kinematics of OUKA implanted either in the HL position or in the supine leg (SL) position.


A total of 16 fresh-frozen knees in eight human cadavers, without macroscopic anatomical defects, were selected. The knees from each cadaver were randomized to have the OUKA implanted in the HL or SL position.


Tibial base plate rotation was significantly more variable in the SL group with 75% of tibiae mal-rotated. Multivariate analysis of navigation data found no difference based on all kinematic parameters across the range of motion (ROM). However, area under the curve analysis showed that knees placed in the HL position had much smaller differences between the pre- and post-surgery conditions for kinematics mean values across the entire ROM.


The sagittal tibia cut, not dependent on standard instrumentation, determines the tibial component rotation. The HL position improves accuracy of this step compared to the SL position, probably due to better visuospatial orientation of the hip and knee to the surgeon. The HL position is better for replicating native kinematics of the knee as shown by the area under the curve analysis. In the supine knee position, care must be taken during the sagittal tibia cut, while checking flexion balance and when sizing the tibial component.

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