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Estimation of the migration of tibial components in total knee arthroplasty


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Accurate quantitative measurements of micromovement immediately after operation would be a reliable indicator of the stability of an individual component. We have therefore developed a system for measuring micromovement of the tibial component using three non-contact displacement transducers attached to the tibial cortex during total knee arthroplasty (TKA). Using this system we measured the initial stability in 31 uncemented TKAs. All the tibial components were fixed by a stem and four screws. The initial stability was defined as the amount of displacement when a load of 20 kg was applied. The mean subsidence was 60.7 μm and the mean lift-off was 103.3 μm.

We also studied the migration of the tibial component using roentgen stereophotogrammetric analysis (RSA) for up to two years after operation. Most migration occurred during the first six months, after which all prostheses remained stable. We defined migration as the maximum total point motion (MTPM) at two years after operation. The mean migration was 1.29 mm at two years.

Our results show that there was a significant correlation between the initial stability and migration (p < 0.05) and emphasise the importance of the initial stability of the tibial component.

Correspondence should be sent to Dr S. Fukuoka.

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