Unicompartmental knee prostheses: In vitro wear assessment of the menisci tibial insert after two different fixation methods

S. Affatato, M. Spinelli, M. Zavalloni, S. Carmignato, N. Lopomo, M. Marcacci, M. Viceconti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Knee osteoarthritis is a complex clinical scenario where many biological and mechanical factors influence the severity of articular degenerative changes. Minimally invasive knee prosthetic surgery, with only a compartment replacement (unicompartmental knee replacement), might be a good compromise between osteotomy and total knee prosthesis. The focus of this study was to develop and validate a protocol to assess the fixation method of the femoral components in mechanical simulation, for pre-clinical validation; the wear behaviour of two different fixation frames was quantified and compared. In particular, two different wear tests were conducted using the same knee simulator, the same load profiles and the same kinematics; two different fixation methods were applied to the femoral sleds (synthetic femur and metal block). Surface characterization on both articulating bearings was performed by a roughness measuring machine and coordinate measuring machine. The wear produced by the tibial inserts using the synthetic femur was considerably higher than the wear registered by the metal-block holder. Roughness measurements on femoral sleds showed a limited number of scratches with high Rt values for the metal-block set-up; the damaged surface broadened in the case of femoral condyles and tibial inserts mounted on composite bone, but lower Rt and linear penetration values were measured. The two holding frames showed different wear activities as a consequence of dissimilar dynamic performance. Further observations should be made in vivo to prove the actual importance of synthetic bone simulations and specific material behaviour.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5357-5369
Number of pages13
JournalPhysics in Medicine and Biology
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - Oct 7 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology

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