Acta Orthopaedica, 85:1, 79-83, DOI: 10.3109/17453674.2013.869654

Measurement of the migration of a focal knee resurfacing implant with radiostereometry

Olof Sköldenberg, Thomas Eisler, André Stark, Olle Muren, Nicolas Martinez-Carranza & Leif Ryd

Background and purpose Articular resurfacing metal implants have been developed to treat full-thickness localized articular cartilage defects. Evaluation of the fixation of these devices is mandatory. Standard radiostereometry (RSA) is a validated method for evaluation of prosthetic migration, but it requires that tantalum beads are inserted into the implant. For technical reasons, this is not possible for focal articular resurfacing components. In this study, we therefore modified the tip of an articular knee implant and used it as a marker for RSA, and then validated the method.

Material and methods We modified the tip of a resurfacing component into a hemisphere with a radius of 3 mm, marked it with a 1.0-mm tantalum marker, and implanted it into a sawbone marked with 6 tantalum beads. Point-motion RSA of the “hemisphere bead” using standard automated RSA as the gold standard was compared to manual measurement of the tip hemisphere. 20 repeated stereograms with gradual shifts of position of the specimen between each double exposure were used for the analysis. The tip motion was compared to the point motion of the hemisphere bead to determine the accuracy and precision.

Results The accuracy of the manual tip hemisphere method was 0.08–0.19 mm and the precision ranged from 0.12 mm to 0.33 mm.

Interpretation The accuracy and precision for translations is acceptable when using a small hemisphere at the tip of a focal articular knee resurfacing implant instead of tantalum marker beads. Rotations of the implant cannot be evaluated. The method is accurate and precise enough to allow detection of relevant migration, and it will be used for future clinical trials with the new implant.

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