Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research: January 2012 - Volume 470 - Issue 1 - p 61–68 doi: 10.1007/s11999-011-1961-4 Symposium: Papers Presented at the Annual Meetings of The Knee Society

No Long-term Difference Between Fixed and Mobile Medial Unicompartmental Arthroplasty

Parratte, Sebastien, MD1; Pauly, Vanessa, MS1; Aubaniac, Jean-Manuel, MD1; Argenson, Jean-Noel, A., MD1, 2, a

Background Early studies in the literature reported relatively high early minor reintervention rate for the mobile-bearing unilateral knee arthroplasty (UKA) compared with short- and midterm survivorship after fixed- or mobile-bearing UKA. However, whether the long-term function and survivorship are similar is unclear.


Questions/purposes We therefore asked whether (1) mobile- or fixed-bearing UKAs have comparable function (as measured by the Knee Society scores); (2) mobile- and fixed-bearing UKA have comparable Knee Society radiographic scores; and (3) the long-term survivorship is comparable.


Methods We retrospectively reviewed 75 patients (79 knees) with a fixed-bearing UKA and 72 patients (77 knees) with a mobile-bearing UKA operated on between 1989 and 1992. Mean age of the patients was 63 years; gender and body mass index (26 kg/m2) were comparable in the two groups. We obtained Knee Society function and radiographic scores and determined survival. The minimum followup was 15 years (mean, 17.2 ± 4.8 years; range, 15-21.2 years).


Results The mean Knee Society function and knee scores were comparable in the two groups. Radiographically, the number of overcorrections and the number of radiolucencies were statistically higher in the mobile-bearing group (69% versus 24%). At final followup, considering revision for any reason, 12 of 77 (15%) UKAs were revised (for aseptic loosening, dislocation, and arthritis progression) in the mobile-bearing group and 10 of 79 (12%) in the fixed-bearing group (for wear and arthritis progression).


Conclusions This long-term study did not demonstrate any difference in survivorship between fixed and mobile-bearing but pointed out specific modes of failure.


Level of Evidence Level III, comparative study. See the Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

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