Preliminary results of the tribological performance of new modular temporary knee spacer antibiotic-impregnated

Saverio Affatato, Filippo Foroni, Massimiliano Merola, Francesco Baldacci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


PURPOSE: Although total knee arthroplasty is one of the most successful and consolidated surgical procedure, the infection rate is still elevate. To treat infected knee arthroplasties, in the past years was approached a procedure that involved the implantation of an antibiotic-loaded temporary spacer. This spacer helps maintain an appropriate soft tissue envelope and the patients are able to walk during the interim period. This study investigated the tribological behavior of antibiotic-impregnated knee spacers under dynamic loading.

METHODS: Three temporary spacer specimens were subjected to a cyclic test on a knee wear simulator for 500,000 walking cycles under a modified international guidelines (ISO 14243). During this test we address about the evaluation of the mechanical resistance and to quantify the wear rate of the devices. All the kinematics and the axial load were set to simulate more than six months of patient use.

RESULTS: All the femoral and tibial specimens completed the 500,000 cycles without breakage. The wear patterns observed on the contact surfaces were similar over the specimens.

CONCLUSIONS: On the basis of the present data, the authors believe that the use of temporary antibiotic-impregnated knee spacers could be an effective wear-resistance temporary substitute of a total knee two-stage revision arthroplasty.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-209
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials
Early online dateApr 17 2019
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2019


  • Bearing surfaces
  • PMMA
  • Periprosthetic knee infections
  • TKA
  • Temporary knee spacer


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