The Knee, ISSN: 1873-5800, Vol: 24, Issue: 4, Page: 751-760

The influence of polyethylene bearing thickness on the tibiofemoral kinematics of a bicruciate retaining total knee arthroplasty

Peersman, Geert; Slane, Josh; Dirckx, Margo; Vandevyver, Arne; Dworschak, Philipp; Heyse, Thomas J; Scheys, Lennart


The recently reintroduced bicruciate retaining Total Knee Arthroplasty (BCR TKA) is an effort to reproduce kinematics closer to the native knee. However, there is no data on appropriate balancing with this implant. Balancing is crucial and challenging as medial and lateral polyethylene (PE) inlays are modular, which allows for placement of different thicknesses in the medial and lateral compartments. This study aimed at providing a detailed kinematic view on balancing BCR TKA.


Seven fresh frozen cadaver legs were mounted in a kinematic rig that applied squatting under application of physiologic quadriceps and hamstring forces. Additionally, specimen laxity was assessed using Lachman tests and varus/valgus stress tests. Following testing on the native knee, a BCR TKA was implanted in each specimen and all trials were repeated. Using one millimeter increments, five inlay thicknesses were tested to simulate optimal balancing, symmetric under-, and overstuffing, valgus constellation, and varus constellation.



Overall, knee kinematics following BCR TKA seem to be very close to the native knee. The changes as introduced to tibiofemoral kinematics through over- or understuffing the polyethylene inserts are affecting the system only to a minor degree and generally lack statistical significance. Reproduction of the tibial varus via PE-Inlays did not lead to kinematics much closer to the native knee.


The changes introduced to tibiofemoral kinematics by removal of the conforming meniscus and cartilage and replacement with a flat PE insert and femoral component are of more impact than different inlay sizes and their combinations for a BCR TKA.

Download article