BACKGROUND: Cementless fixation is an alternative to cemented unicompartmental knee replacement (UKR). The aim of this study was to determine if cementless UKR fixation is as good as cemented by comparing the five-year migration measured radiostereometric analysis (RSA) in a randomised controlled trial. METHODS: Thirty-nine patients were randomised to receive either a cemented or a cementless Oxford UKR and were studied at intervals up to five years to assess migration with RSA and radiolucencies with radiographs. RESULTS: During the first year there was a small and significant amount of migration, predominantly in an anterior direction, of both the cemented (0.24 mm, SD 0.32, p = 0.01) and cementless (0.26 mm, SD 0.31, p = 0.00) femoral components. Thereafter there was no significant migration in any direction. At no stage was there any significant difference between the migrations of the cemented or cementless femoral components. During the first year, particularly the first three months, the cementless tibial components subsided 0.28 mm (SD 0.19, p = 0.00). This was significantly (p = 0.00) greater than the subsidence of the cemented tibial component (0.09, SD 0.19, p = 0.28). Between the second and fifth years there was no significant migration of either cemented or cementless tibial components. At five years radiolucent lines occurred significantly less with cementless (one partial) compared to cemented (six partial and one complete) tibial components. CONCLUSIONS: As, between two and five years, there was no significant migration of cemented or cementless components, and no significant difference between them, we conclude that cementless fixation is as reliable as cemented. It may be better as there are fewer radiolucent lines.
Cementless fixation, Mobile bearing UKR, Oxford unicompartmental knee replacement, RSA, Radiostereometric analysis, Unicompartmental knee replacement