Retrieval studies have shown that the use of fully congruent meniscal bearings reduces wear in knee replacements.We report the outcome of 143 knees with anteromedial osteoarthritis and normal anterior cruciate ligaments treated by unicompartmental arthroplasty using fully congruous mobile polyethylene bearings. At review, 34 knees were in patients who had died and 109 were in those who were still living. The mean elapsed time since operation was 7.6 years (maximum 13.8). We established the status of all but one knee.
There had been five revision operations giving a cumulative prosthetic survival rate at ten years (33 knees at risk) of 98% (95% CI 93% to 100%).Considering the knee lost to follow-up as a failure, the 'worst-case' survival rate was 97%. No failures were due to polyethylene wear or aseptic loosening of the tibial component. One bearing which dislocated at four years was reduced by closed manipulation.
The ten-year survival rate is the best of those reported for unicompartmental arthroplasty and not significantly different from the best rates for total knee replacement.
J Bone Joint Surg [Br] 1998;80-B:983-9.