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The effect of implant position on bone strain following lateral unicompartmental knee arthroplasty: A Biomechanical Model Using Digital Image Correlation

A M Ali, S D S Newman, P A Hooper, C M Davies, J P Cobb
Bone & Joint Research 2017, 6 (8): 522-529

OBJECTIVES: Unicompartmental knee arthroplasty (UKA) is a demanding procedure, with tibial component subsidence or pain from high tibial strain being potential causes of revision. The optimal position in terms of load transfer has not been documented for lateral UKA. Our aim was to determine the effect of tibial component position on proximal tibial strain.

METHODS: A total of 16 composite tibias were implanted with an Oxford Domed Lateral Partial Knee implant using cutting guides to define tibial slope and resection depth. Four implant positions were assessed: standard (5° posterior slope); 10° posterior slope; 5° reverse tibial slope; and 4 mm increased tibial resection. Using an electrodynamic axial-torsional materials testing machine (Instron 5565), a compressive load of 1.5 kN was applied at 60 N/s on a meniscal bearing via a matching femoral component. Tibial strain beneath the implant was measured using a calibrated Digital Image Correlation system.

RESULTS: A 5° increase in tibial component posterior slope resulted in a 53% increase in mean major principal strain in the posterior tibial zone adjacent to the implant (p = 0.003). The highest strains for all implant positions were recorded in the anterior cortex 2 cm to 3 cm distal to the implant. Posteriorly, strain tended to decrease with increasing distance from the implant. Lateral cortical strain showed no significant relationship with implant position.

CONCLUSION: Relatively small changes in implant position and orientation may significantly affect tibial cortical strain. Avoidance of excessive posterior tibial slope may be advisable during lateral UKA.Cite this article: A. M. Ali, S. D. S. Newman, P. A. Hooper, C. M. Davies, J. P. Cobb. The effect of implant position on bone strain following lateral unicompartmental knee arthroplasty: A Biomechanical Model Using Digital Image Correlation. Bone Joint Res 2017;6:522-529. DOI: 10.1302/2046-3758.68.BJR-2017-0067.R1.

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