The Knee, ISSN: 1873-5800, Vol: 24, Issue: 5, Page: 1160-1165

Oxidized zirconium versus cobalt–chromium against the native patella in total knee arthroplasty: Patellofemoral outcomes

Matassi, Fabrizio; Paoli, Tommaso; Civinini, Roberto; Carulli, Christian; Innocenti, Massimo


Oxidized zirconium (OxZr) has demonstrated excellent mechanical properties in vitro when used against articular cartilage; less coefficient of friction and less chondral damage have been found when compared with cobalt–chromium (CoCr) implants. However, controversy exists as to whether implants with a zirconium femoral component articulate safely with a native patella in total knee arthroplasty (TKA). To answer this question, the clinical and radiographic results were analysed from a group of patients who underwent a TKA with patella retention; the OxZr versus CoCr femoral components were compared.


The present study prospectively evaluated 83 knees of 74 patients from 2009 to 2010. Each patient was evaluated clinically (visual analogue scale, Knee Society score, patellar score) and radiographically (long leg standing radiograph, anterior–posterior and latero-lateral projections, axial view of the patella) pre-operatively and postoperatively with a mean follow-up of 4.47 years. The patellar tilt and shift, and progression of patellofemoral osteoarthritis were calculated with the axial view.


There were no patient reported adverse reactions and none of the evaluated prostheses failed. Both the clinical and radiographic evaluations showed no statistically significant between-group differences.


No adverse events were observed clinically or radiologically. These results justify pursuing the use of oxidized zirconium as an alternative bearing surface for a femoral component associated with patellar retention in TKA.

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