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Many designs of unicompartmental knee replacement show early and mid-term failure due to polyethylene wear. We studied the wear rate of congruent polyethylene meniscal bearings retrieved from failed Oxford unicompartmental knee replacements. We examined 16 bearings, 0.8 to 12.8 years after implantation, measuring their thickness and comparing it with that of 14 unused bearings. The mean rate of penetration, which included the effects of wear at both upper and lower surfaces, was 0.036 mm per year (maximum 0.08). Bearings as thin as 3.5 mm wore no faster than thicker models, but ten with evidence of impingement had greater wear. The six bearings with no impingement showed a mean rate of penetration of 0.01 mm per year. In unicompartmental knee replacement, careful implantation of fully congruous meniscal bearings can avoid failure due to polyethylene wear.

Original publication

DOI

10.1302/0301-620x.80b6.8176

Type

Journal article

Journal

The Journal of bone and joint surgery. British volume

Publication Date

11/1998

Volume

80

Pages

976 - 982

Addresses

Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre, Oxford, England.

Keywords

Menisci, Tibial, Humans, Prosthesis Failure, Polyethylenes, Arthroplasty, Replacement, Knee, Knee Prosthesis, Time Factors, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Middle Aged