Clinical outcomes of ceramic femoral prosthesis in total knee arthroplasty: a systematic review

Shuai Xiang, Yan Zhao, Zeng Li, Bin Feng, Xisheng Weng
Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Research 2019 February 19, 14 (1): 57

PURPOSE: Ceramic bearings have been widely used in total hip arthroplasty (THA), which resulted in satisfactory clinical outcomes due to the excellent tribological characteristics of the implants. However, ceramic components are not commonly used in total knee arthroplasty (TKA) because of brittleness. This study aimed to gather and analyze information regarding the clinical outcomes (including survival without revision, causes of revision, functional outcome, and incidence of loosening) and reach a definitive conclusion about the use of ceramic femoral components in total knee arthroplasty.

METHODS: MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane, and databases were searched for studies that reported the clinical and/or radiological outcomes with or without survival data of ceramic TKA implants and that included more than 10 patients with a minimum of 1 year follow-up.

RESULTS: From an initial sample of 147, there were 14 studies that met the inclusion criteria. Overall, there was a notable enhancement of joint function after the procedure, with a satisfactory mid- and long-term survival of the ceramic components, which is comparable to that of the conventional alloy components reported previously. In addition, the revision rate was reported to be between 0% and 14.37% according to the included studies. However, revision due to aseptic loosening, wear, and component fracture appeared to be rare, demonstrating the safety of in vivo use of ceramic bearings in the TKA procedure.

CONCLUSIONS: Ceramic TKA implants show similar post-operative clinical results and survival rate compared to their conventional metallic counterparts. Our results confirmed the safety of in vivo use of ceramic bearings in TKA, with rare implant breakage and aseptic loosening. Considering the excellent characteristics of the tribology of ceramics, the clinical use of ceramic prostheses in TKA could be promising.

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