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Early mechanical complications of a multidirectional mobile-bearing total knee replacement

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Between April 2004 and July 2007, we performed 241 primary total knee replacements in 204 patients using the e.motion posterior cruciate-retaining, multidirectional mobile-bearing prosthesis. Of these, 100 were carried out using an image-free navigation system, and the remaining 141 with the conventional technique. We conducted a retrospective study from the prospectively collected data of these patients to assess the early results of this new mobile-bearing design.

At a mean follow-up of 49 months (32 to 71), 18 knees (7.5%) had mechanical complications of which 13 required revision. Three of these had a peri-prosthetic fracture, and were removed from the study. The indication for revision in the remaining ten was loosening of the femoral component in two, tibiofemoral dislocation in three, disassociation of the polyethylene liner in four, and a broken polyethyene liner in one. There were eight further mechanically unstable knees which presented with recurrent disassociation of the polyethylene liner. There was no significant difference in the incidence of mechanical instability between the navigation-assisted procedures (8 of 99, 8.1%) and the conventionally implanted knees (10 of 139, 7.2%).

In our view, the relatively high rate of mechanical complications and revision within 30 months precludes the further use of new design of knee replacement.

Correspondence should be sent to Professor K.-A. Lai; e-mail: laikuoan@mail.ncku.edu.tw

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