The Knee, ISSN: 0968-0160, Vol: 13, Issue: 5, Page: 365 - 370

Mobile vs. fixed bearing unicondylar knee arthroplasty: A randomized study on short term clinical outcomes and knee kinematics

Li, Ming G; Yao, Felix; Joss, Brendan; Ioppolo, James; Nivbrant, Bo; Wood, David
The literature contains limited yet controversial information regarding whether a fixed or a mobile bearing implant should be used in unicompartmental knee arthroplasty (UKA). This randomized study was to further document the performance and comparison of the two designs.
Fifty-six knees in 48 patients (mean age of 72 years) undergoing medial UKA were randomized into a fixed bearing (Miller/Galante) or a mobile bearing (Oxford) UKA. The 2 year clinical outcomes (clinical scores), radiographic findings, and weight bearing knee kinematics (assessed using RSA) were compared between the two groups.
The mobile bearing knees displayed a larger and an incrementally increased tibial internal rotation (4.3°, 7.6°, 9.5° vs. 3.0°, 3.0°, 4.2° respectively at 30°, 60°, 90° of knee flexion) compared to the fixed ones. The medial femoral condyle in the mobile bearing knees remained 2 mm from the initial position vs. a 4.2 mm anterior translation in the fixed bearing knees during knee flexion. The contact point in the mobile bearing implant moved 2 mm posteriorly vs. a 6 mm anterior movement in the other group. The mobile bearing knees had a lower incidence of radiolucency at the bone implant interface (8% vs. 37%, p < 0.05). The incidence of lateral compartment OA and progression of OA at patello–femoral joint were equal. No differences were found regarding Knee Society Scores, WOMAC, and SF-36 scores (p > 0.05). This study indicates that mobile bearing knees had a better kinematics, a lower incidence of radiolucency but not yet a better knee function at 2 years.

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