Muscle activity around the knee and gait performance in unicompartmental knee arthroplasty patients: A comparative study on fixed- and mobile-bearing designs

Fabio Catani, Maria Grazia Benedetti, Luca Bianchi, Valentina Marchionni, Sandro Giannini, Alberto Leardini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Purpose: Unicompartmental knee arthroplasty (UKA) offers clinical and functional advantages over total knee arthroplasty. The aim of this study was to compare the functional recovery of patients with mobile UKA versus fixed-bearing designs by state-of-the-art gait analysis and, in particular, by assessing muscular activity. Methods: Ten patients with the Oxford (mobile bearing) and ten patients with Optetrak (fixed bearing) UKA were evaluated at a minimum follow-up of 1 year post-operatively by gait analysis, which includes the main time-distance parameters, kinematics and kinetics of the replaced knee, and muscular activity of the main relevant muscles. Twenty healthy young subjects were used as controls. Results: The mean International Knee Society score was 92.7 ± 11. 2 for all 20 UKA knees; for the Oxford UKA, it was 94.1 ± 9. 5; and for the Optetrak UKA, it was 91.5 ± 12. 9, although follow-up was significantly lower for the latter. Time-distance parameters showed a slower gait in both groups compared with that of controls, and the Oxford group had values closer to the controls. Knee joint flexion was similar to that of controls at initial contact and loading response with no differences between groups. In all patients, the joint moments were smaller to that of controls. Residual abnormalities such as the prolonged rectus femoris activity were present in both designs, and the only difference distinguishing the Optetrak group from the others was the combined co-contraction of the hamstrings. Conclusions: A good restoration of gait was achieved by most unicompartmental knee patients independently of the UKA design, although some abnormalities persisted in muscle activity around the knee. Level of evidence: Retrospective comparative study, Level III.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1042-1048
Number of pages7
JournalKnee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012



  • Arthroplasty
  • Gait
  • Kinematics
  • Kinetics
  • Knee
  • Mobile bearing
  • Muscle activity
  • Unicompartmental

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Surgery

Cite this