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The Effects of Walking Gait on UHMWPE Damage in Unicompartmental Knee Systems: A Finite Element Study

Mar 7, 2003 | Knee

There is increasing re-interest in the use of unicompartmental knee replacement as a remedy of choice for isolated compartment disease, although there is debate regarding its role as a temporizing or definitive procedure. The popularization of mini-incision surgery with claims of reduced pain, shorter hospitalization, more rapid rehabilitation, more normal knee function and decreased cost are positive arguments for the procedure. However, the damage observed in ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) component retrievals is the result of high cycle fatigue loads, which act on the polymer insert during daily ambulation and suggests a material limitation in their use. The study reveals the influence that four different modular unicompartmental knee design geometries have on stresses that are associated with abrasion and delamination of the polymer insert and suggests their efficacy in clinical use..

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