Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy November 2018, Volume 26, Issue 11, pp 3459–3467

Similar outcome during short-term follow-up after coated and uncoated total knee arthroplasty: a randomized controlled study

Postler, A., Beyer, F., Lützner, C. et al.


Patients with known hypersensitivity to metals often require hypoallergenic TKA implants. Coating of a standard implant is a common solution, and although in vitro tests have demonstrated reduction of polyethylene wear for these coatings, it is still unknown whether these implants have any clinical benefit. This study was initiated to investigate metal ion concentrations, knee function and patient-reported outcome (PRO) after coated and uncoated TKA.



One hundred and twenty-two (122) patients were randomized to receive a coated or a standard TKA and, after exclusions, 59 patients were included in each group. Knee function and PRO were assessed with validated scores up to 3 years after surgery. Metal ion concentrations in blood samples were determined for chromium, cobalt, molybdenum and nickel, preoperatively and 1 year after surgery.



Chromium concentrations in patient plasma increased from a median of 0.25 to 1.30 µg/l in the standard TKA group, and from 0.25 to 0.75 µg/l in the coated TKA group (p = 0.012). Thirteen patients (3 coated, 10 standard TKA) had chromium concentrations above 2 µg/l. The concentrations of cobalt, molybdenum and nickel did not change. Patient-reported outcome measures (PROM) demonstrated a substantial improvement after TKA, without any differences between the groups.



The increase in chromium concentration in the standard group needs further investigation. If surgeons use coated implants, they can be confident that these implants perform as well as standard implants.


Level of evidence


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