In this study, we performed a virtual mobile-bearing unicompartmental knee arthroplasty (UKA) on the contact pressure in the tibial insert and articular cartilage by using finite element (FE) analysis to understand clinical observations and elaborate on the potential risks associated with a joint line preservation such as wear on tibial insert and osteoarthritis on other compartment. Neutral position of the knee joint was defined in 0 mm joint line, and contact pressure between tibial insert and articular cartilage varies with respect to changes of joint line. Therefore, evaluation of contact pressure may provide the degree of joint line preservation. The FE model for the joint line was developed using a perpendicular projection line from the medial tibial plateau to the anatomical axis. Seven FE models for joint lines in cases corresponding to ± 6, ± 4, ± 2, and 0 mm were modeled and analyzed in normal level walking conditions. The maximum contact pressure on the superior and inferior surfaces of the polyethylene insert increased when the joint line became positive while the maximum contact pressure on the articular cartilage increased when the joint line became negative. The increase in the maximum contact pressure in the positive joint line exceeded that in the negative joint line, and this lead to an unsymmetrical maximum contact pressure distribution with respect to the joint line from a 0 reference. The joint line elevation was sensitive to increases or decreases in maximum contact pressures in the mobile-bearing UKA. The findings of the study determined that postoperative joint line preservation is important in mobile-type bearing UKA.
Australasian Physical & Engineering Sciences in Medicine – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 28, 2018
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