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Should we reconsider all-polyethylene tibial implants in total knee replacement?

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Scott Muller, Professor David Deehan, Professor Paul Gregg, Professor Andrew McCaskie


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The role of modular tibial implants in total knee replacement is not fully defined. We performed a prospective randomised controlled clinical trial using radiostereophotogram metric analysis to compare the performance of an all-polyethylene tibia with a metal-backed cruciate-retaining condylar design, PFC-Sigma, total knee replacement for up to 24 months. There were 51 patients who were randomised into two treatment groups. There were 10 subsequent withdrawals, leaving 21 all-polyethylene and 20 metal-backed tibial implants. No patient was lost to follow-up. There were no significant demographic differences between the groups. At two years one metal-backed implant showed migration > 1 mm, but no polyethylene implant reached this level. There was a significant increase in the SF-12 and Oxford knee scores after operation in both groups. In an uncomplicated primary total knee replacement the all-polyethylene PFC-Sigma tibial prosthesis showed no statistical difference in migration from that of the metal-backed counterpart. There was no difference in the clinical results as assessed by the SF-12, the Oxford knee score, alignment or range of movement at 24 months, although these assessment measures were not statistically powered in this study.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Muller SD, Deehan DJ, Holland JP, Outterside SE, Kirk LMG, Gregg PJ, McCaskie AW

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery: British Volume

Year: 2006

Volume: 88B

Issue: 12

Pages: 1596-1602

ISSN (print): 0301-620X

ISSN (electronic):

Publisher: British Editorial Society of Bone and Joint Surgery


DOI: 10.1302/0301-620X.88B12.17695


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