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Medial unicompartmental knee replacement (UKR) has many advantages over total replacement (TKR) including better function and reduced morbidity. However, the long-term failure rates of fixed-bearing UKR are high, especially because of polyethylene wear. The fully congruent mobile bearing of the Oxford UKR exhibits minimal polyethylene wear, failure from this cause does not seem to occur before 10 years. The instrumentation allows precise implantation to restore isometric function of the ligaments. During its 20 years development, the limits of usefulness of the implant have been established and found to include about one in four knees requiring replacement for osteoarthritis. In an independent series, using these criteria, the 15 year survival was 94%. Since 1998, the phase 3 implant has been used with modified instruments through a small incision, avoiding damage to the extensor mechanism. Patients now recover about three times faster than after TKR, and regain much better flexion (mean 135 degrees ). The current evidence supports that the minimally invasive Oxford UKR should be seriously considered as primary treatment for anteromedial compartment osteoarthritis-provided the appropriate surgical expertise is available.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





1277 - 1283


Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Arthroplasty, Replacement, Knee, Clinical Trials, Phase III as Topic, Follow-Up Studies, Humans, Knee Prosthesis, Menisci, Tibial, Middle Aged, Minimally Invasive Surgical Procedures, Osteoarthritis, Knee, Polyethylenes, Prosthesis Design, Reoperation, Surgery, Computer-Assisted, Time Factors