Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

The Oxford Unicompartmental Knee replacement (UKR) was introduced as a design to reduce polyethylene wear. There has been one previous retrieval study involving this implant, which reported very low rates of wear in some specimens but abnormal patterns of wear in others. There has been no further investigation of these abnormal patterns. The bearings were retrieved from 47 patients who had received a medial Oxford UKR for anteromedial osteoarthritis of the knee. None had been studied previously. The mean time to revision was 8.4 years (sd 4.1), with 20 having been implanted for over ten years. The macroscopic pattern of polyethylene wear and the linear penetration were recorded for each bearing. The mean rate of linear penetration was 0.07 mm/year. The patterns of wear fell into three categories, each with a different rate of linear penetration; 1) no abnormal macroscopic wear and a normal articular surface, n = 16 (linear penetration rate = 0.01 mm/year); 2) abnormal macroscopic wear and normal articular surfaces with extra-articular impingement, n = 16 (linear penetration rate = 0.05 mm/year); 3) abnormal macroscopic wear and abnormal articular surfaces with intra-articular impingement +/- signs of non-congruous articulation, n = 15 (linear penetration rate = 0.12 mm/year). The differences in linear penetration rate were statistically significant (p < 0.001). These results show that very low rates of polyethylene wear are possible if the device functions normally. However, if the bearing displays suboptimal function (extra-articular, intra-articular impingement or incongruous articulation) the rates of wear increase significantly.

Original publication




Journal article


J bone joint surg br

Publication Date





367 - 373


Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Arthroplasty, Replacement, Knee, Equipment Failure Analysis, Female, Humans, Knee Prosthesis, Male, Middle Aged, Osteoarthritis, Knee, Polyethylene, Prosthesis Design, Prosthesis Failure, Surface Properties, Time Factors