Load transfer in the proximal tibia following implantation with a unicompartmental knee replacement: a static snapshot.
Simpson DJ., Kendrick BJL., Dodd CAF., Price AJ., Gill HS., Murray DW.
Unicompartmental knee replacement (UKR) is an appealing alternative to total knee replacement when the patient has isolated medial compartment osteoarthritis. A common observation post-operatively is radiolucency between the tibial tray wall and the bone. In addition, some patients complain of persistent pain over the proximal tibia antero-medially; this may be related to elevated bone strains in the tibia. Currently, there is no intentionally made mechanical bond between the vertical wall of an Oxford UKR and the adjacent bone; whether one exists or not will influence the load transmission in the proximal tibia and may affect the elevated tibia strain. The aim of this study was to investigate how introducing a mechanical tie between the tibial tray wall and the adjacent bone might alter the load carried into the tibia for both cemented and cementless UKRs. Strain energy density in the region of bone adjacent to the tray wall was considerably increased when a mechanical tie was introduced; this has the potential of reducing the likelihood of a radiolucency occurring in that region. Moreover, a mechanical tie had the effect of reducing proximal tibia strain, which may decrease the incidence of pain following implantation with a UKR.