The Journal of Arthroplasty, Volume 34, Issue 6, 1097 - 1104

High Survival Rate and Very Low Wear of Lateral Unicompartmental Arthroplasty at Long Term

Deroche, Etienne et al.


Survivorship of lateral unicompartmental knee arthroplasty (UKA) has progressively improved. However, there are few studies describing long-term results, and no study reports on polyethylene (PE) wear in lateral unicompartmental arthroplasty.
The aims of this study are to determine the survival rate of lateral UKA with a fixed, all-PE bearing, and the PE wear of the tibial implant at a minimum of 15 years follow-up.


From January 1988 to October 2003, we performed 54 lateral UKAs in 52 patients. All patients had isolated lateral osteoarthritis (OA). The mean age at the index procedure was 65.4 ± 11 years. Thirty-nine UKAs were available for follow-up (30 alive and 9 dead after 15 years). Twelve patients had died before 15 years and 3 patients were lost to follow-up. The mean follow-up was 17.9 years (range, 15-23 years).


At the final follow-up, 8 knees of 39 (20.5%) had a surgical revision. The cumulative survival rate was 82.1% at 15 years and 79.4% at 20 years. The main reason of revision was progression of OA (87.5%), followed by aseptic loosening of the tibial component (12.5%). With a mean follow-up of 17.9 years, the mean PE wear was 0.061 mm/y. There was no radiographic loosening in the surviving implants and no revisions for wear. The mean functional International Knee Society score was 66.5 ± 26.8, with a mean objective score of 84.4 points ± 13.2. In the population without revision, 90.5% were satisfied or very satisfied at the latest follow-up.


Lateral UKA with a fixed, all-PE tibial bearing and a femoral resurfacing implant presents a high survivorship at long term, with very low PE wear.

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