International comparative evaluation of knee replacement with fixed or mobile non-posterior-stabilized implants

Robert Namba, Stephen Graves, Otto Robertsson, Ove Furnes, Susanna Stea, Lluis Puig-Verdié, Daniel Hoeffel, Guy Cafri, Elizabeth Paxton, Art Sedrakyan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Mobile-bearing total knee prostheses were designed to reduce wear and improve implant survivorship following total knee arthroplasty. However, the benefit of mobile-bearing total knee arthroplasty remains unproven. Both mobile-bearing and fixed-bearing total knee arthroplasty implants are available in posterior-stabilized and non-posterior-stabilized designs. With the latter, the implant does not recreate the function of the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) with a posterior-stabilizing cam mechanism. The purpose of the present study was to compare mobile-bearing, non-posterior-stabilized devices with fixed-bearing, non-posterior-stabilized devices used in total knee arthroplasty through a novel multinational study design. Methods: Through the use of a distributed health data network, primary total knee arthroplasties performed for osteo-arthritis from 2001 to 2010 were identified from six national and regional total joint arthroplasty registries. Multivariate meta-analysis was performed with use of linear mixed models, with the primary outcome of interest being revision for any reason. Survival probabilities and their standard errors were extracted from each registry for each unique combination of the covariates. Results: A total of 319,616 patients (60% female) underwent non-posterior-stabilized total knee arthroplasty. A fixed-bearing, non-posterior-stabilized design was used in 258,190 (81%) of the knees and a mobile-bearing, non-posterior-stabilized design in 61,426 (19%) of the knees. Sixty-nine percent of the patients who received a fixed-bearing implant were over sixty-five years of age, compared with 63% of those who received a mobile-bearing implant. Mobile-bearing designs had a higher risk of revision, with a hazard ratio of 1.43 (95% confidence interval, 1.36 to 1.51; p <0.001). Conclusions: Previous comparisons of mobile-bearing and fixed-bearing total knee arthroplasty outcomes have been inconclusive. The current study utilized an advanced, harmonized distributed analysis of six national and regional joint-replacement registries. To our knowledge, it is the largest analysis of mobile-bearing total knee arthroplasty to date. Mobile-bearing, non-posterior-stabilized designs presented a greater risk of failure than was found for fixed-bearing, non-posterior-stabilized designs. Caution should be used in the selection of the mobile-bearing non-posterior-stabilized design for total knee replacement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)52-58
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Bone and Joint Surgery - Series A
Publication statusPublished - Dec 17 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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