header advert
Results 1 - 20 of 29
Results per page:
The Bone & Joint Journal
Vol. 102-B, Issue 8 | Pages 1033 - 1040
1 Aug 2020
Kennedy JA Mohammad HR Yang I Mellon SJ Dodd CAF Pandit HG Murray DW


To report mid- to long-term results of Oxford mobile bearing domed lateral unicompartmental knee arthroplasty (UKA), and determine the effect of potential contraindications on outcome.


A total of 325 consecutive domed lateral UKAs undertaken for the recommended indications were included, and their functional and survival outcomes were assessed. The effects of age, weight, activity, and the presence of full-thickness erosions of cartilage in the patellofemoral joint on outcome were evaluated.

Bone & Joint Research
Vol. 7, Issue 3 | Pages 226 - 231
1 Mar 2018
Campi S Mellon SJ Ridley D Foulke B Dodd CAF Pandit HG Murray DW


The primary stability of the cementless Oxford Unicompartmental Knee Replacement (OUKR) relies on interference fit (or press fit). Insufficient interference may cause implant loosening, whilst excessive interference could cause bone damage and fracture.

The aim of this study was to identify the optimal interference fit by measuring the force required to seat the tibial component of the cementless OUKR (push-in force) and the force required to remove the component (pull-out force).

Materials and Methods

Six cementless OUKR tibial components were implanted in 12 new slots prepared on blocks of solid polyurethane foam (20 pounds per cubic foot (PCF), Sawbones, Malmo, Sweden) with a range of interference of 0.1 mm to 1.9 mm using a Dartec materials testing machine HC10 (Zwick Ltd, Herefordshire, United Kingdom) . The experiment was repeated with cellular polyurethane foam (15 PCF), which is a more porous analogue for trabecular bone.

The Bone & Joint Journal
Vol. 99-B, Issue 5 | Pages 632 - 639
1 May 2017
Hamilton TW Pandit HG Maurer DG Ostlere SJ Jenkins C Mellon SJ Dodd CAF Murray DW


It is not clear whether anterior knee pain and osteoarthritis (OA) of the patellofemoral joint (PFJ) are contraindications to medial unicompartmental knee arthroplasty (UKA). Our aim was to investigate the long-term outcome of a consecutive series of patients, some of whom had anterior knee pain and PFJ OA managed with UKA.

Patients and Methods

We assessed the ten-year functional outcomes and 15-year implant survival of 805 knees (677 patients) following medial mobile-bearing UKA. The intra-operative status of the PFJ was documented and, with the exception of bone loss with grooving to the lateral side, neither the clinical or radiological state of the PFJ nor the presence of anterior knee pain were considered a contraindication. The impact of radiographic findings and anterior knee pain was studied in a subgroup of 100 knees (91 patients).

The Bone & Joint Journal
Vol. 99-B, Issue 4 | Pages 475 - 482
1 Apr 2017
Hamilton TW Pandit HG Inabathula A Ostlere SJ Jenkins C Mellon SJ Dodd CAF Murray DW


While medial unicompartmental knee arthroplasty (UKA) is indicated for patients with full-thickness cartilage loss, it is occasionally used to treat those with partial-thickness loss. The aim of this study was to investigate the five-year outcomes in a consecutive series of UKAs used in patients with partial thickness cartilage loss in the medial compartment of the knee.

Patients and Methods

Between 2002 and 2014, 94 consecutive UKAs were undertaken in 90 patients with partial thickness cartilage loss and followed up independently for a mean of six years (1 to 13). These patients had partial thickness cartilage loss either on both femur and tibia (13 knees), or on either the femur or the tibia, with full thickness loss on the other surface of the joint (18 and 63 knees respectively). Using propensity score analysis, these patients were matched 1:2 based on age, gender and pre-operative Oxford Knee Score (OKS) with knees with full thickness loss on both the femur and tibia. The functional outcomes, implant survival and incidence of re-operations were assessed at one, two and five years post-operatively. A subgroup of 36 knees in 36 patients with partial thickness cartilage loss, who had pre-operative MRI scans, was assessed to identify whether there were any factors identified on MRI that predicted the outcome.

The Bone & Joint Journal
Vol. 98-B, Issue 10_Supple_B | Pages 3 - 10
1 Oct 2016
Hamilton TW Pandit HG Lombardi AV Adams JB Oosthuizen CR Clavé A Dodd CAF Berend KR Murray DW


An evidence-based radiographic Decision Aid for meniscal-bearing unicompartmental knee arthroplasty (UKA) has been developed and this study investigates its performance at an independent centre.

Patients and Methods

Pre-operative radiographs, including stress views, from a consecutive cohort of 550 knees undergoing arthroplasty (UKA or total knee arthroplasty; TKA) by a single-surgeon were assessed. Suitability for UKA was determined using the Decision Aid, with the assessor blinded to treatment received, and compared with actual treatment received, which was determined by an experienced UKA surgeon based on history, examination, radiographic assessment including stress radiographs, and intra-operative assessment in line with the recommended indications as described in the literature.

The Bone & Joint Journal
Vol. 97-B, Issue 11 | Pages 1493 - 1499
1 Nov 2015
Pandit H Hamilton TW Jenkins C Mellon SJ Dodd CAF Murray DW

This prospective study reports the 15-year survival and ten-year functional outcome of a consecutive series of 1000 minimally invasive Phase 3 Oxford medial UKAs (818 patients, 393 men, 48%, 425 women, 52%, mean age 66 years; 32 to 88). These were implanted by two surgeons involved with the design of the prosthesis to treat anteromedial osteoarthritis and spontaneous osteonecrosis of the knee, which are recommended indications. Patients were prospectively identified and followed up independently for a mean of 10.3 years (5.3 to 16.6).

At ten years, the mean Oxford Knee Score was 40 (standard deviation (sd) 9; 2 to 48): 79% of knees (349) had an excellent or good outcome. There were 52 implant-related re-operations at a mean of 5.5 years (0.2 to 14.7). The most common reasons for re-operation were arthritis in the lateral compartment (2.5%, 25 knees), bearing dislocation (0.7%, seven knees) and unexplained pain (0.7%, seven knees). When all implant-related re-operations were considered as failures, the ten-year rate of survival was 94% (95% confidence interval (CI) 92 to 96) and the 15-year survival rate 91% (CI 83 to 98). When failure of the implant was the endpoint the 15-year survival was 99% (CI 96 to 100).

This is the only large series of minimally invasive UKAs with 15-year survival data. The results support the continued use of minimally invasive UKA for the recommended indications.

Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2015;97-B:1493–99.

The Bone & Joint Journal
Vol. 97-B, Issue 10_Supple_A | Pages 3 - 8
1 Oct 2015
Murray DW Liddle AD Dodd CAF Pandit H

There is a large amount of evidence available about the relative merits of unicompartmental and total knee arthroplasty (UKA and TKA). Based on the same evidence, different people draw different conclusions and as a result, there is great variability in the usage of UKA.

The revision rate of UKA is much higher than TKA and so some surgeons conclude that UKA should not be performed. Other surgeons believe that the main reason for the high revision rate is that UKA is easy to revise and, therefore, the threshold for revision is low. They also believe that UKA has many advantages over TKA such as a faster recovery, lower morbidity and mortality and better function. They therefore conclude that UKA should be undertaken whenever appropriate.

The solution to this argument is to minimise the revision rate of UKA, thereby addressing the main disadvantage of UKA. The evidence suggests that this will be achieved if surgeons use UKA for at least 20% of their knee arthroplasties and use implants that are appropriate for these broad indications.

Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2015;97-B(10 Suppl A):3–8.

The Bone & Joint Journal
Vol. 97-B, Issue 2 | Pages 185 - 191
1 Feb 2015
Kendrick BJL Kaptein BL Valstar ER Gill HS Jackson WFM Dodd CAF Price AJ Murray DW

The most common reasons for revision of unicompartmental knee arthroplasty (UKA) are loosening and pain. Cementless components may reduce the revision rate. The aim of this study was to compare the fixation and clinical outcome of cementless and cemented Oxford UKAs.

A total of 43 patients were randomised to receive either a cemented or a cementless Oxford UKA and were followed for two years with radiostereometric analysis (RSA), radiographs aligned with the bone–implant interfaces and clinical scores.

The femoral components migrated significantly during the first year (mean 0.2 mm) but not during the second. There was no significant difference in the extent of migration between cemented and cementless femoral components in either the first or the second year. In the first year the cementless tibial components subsided significantly more than the cemented components (mean 0.28 mm (sd 0.17) vs. 0.09 mm (sd 0.19 mm)). In the second year, although there was a small amount of subsidence (mean 0.05 mm) there was no significant difference (p = 0.92) between cemented and cementless tibial components. There were no femoral radiolucencies. Tibial radiolucencies were narrow (< 1 mm) and were significantly (p = 0.02) less common with cementless (6 of 21) than cemented (13 of 21) components at two years. There were no complete radiolucencies with cementless components, whereas five of 21 (24%) cemented components had complete radiolucencies. The clinical scores at two years were not significantly different (p = 0.20).

As second-year migration is predictive of subsequent loosening, and as radiolucency is suggestive of reduced implant–bone contact, these data suggest that fixation of the cementless components is at least as good as, if not better than, that of cemented devices.

Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2015; 97-B:185–91.

The Bone & Joint Journal
Vol. 96-B, Issue 3 | Pages 345 - 349
1 Mar 2014
Liddle AD Pandit HG Jenkins C Lobenhoffer P Jackson WFM Dodd CAF Murray DW

The cementless Oxford unicompartmental knee replacement has been demonstrated to have superior fixation on radiographs and a similar early complication rate compared with the cemented version. However, a small number of cases have come to our attention where, after an apparently successful procedure, the tibial component subsides into a valgus position with an increased posterior slope, before becoming well-fixed. We present the clinical and radiological findings of these six patients and describe their natural history and the likely causes. Two underwent revision in the early post-operative period, and in four the implant stabilised and became well-fixed radiologically with a good functional outcome.

This situation appears to be avoidable by minor modifications to the operative technique, and it appears that it can be treated conservatively in most patients.

Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2014;96-B:345–9.

The Bone & Joint Journal
Vol. 96-B, Issue 1 | Pages 59 - 64
1 Jan 2014
Weston-Simons JS Pandit H Kendrick BJL Jenkins C Barker K Dodd CAF Murray DW

Mobile-bearing unicompartmental knee replacements (UKRs) with a flat tibial plateau have not performed well in the lateral compartment, owing to a high dislocation rate. This led to the development of the Domed Lateral Oxford UKR (Domed OUKR) with a biconcave bearing. The aim of this study was to assess the survival and clinical outcomes of the Domed OUKR in a large patient cohort in the medium term.

We prospectively evaluated 265 consecutive knees with isolated disease of the lateral compartment and a mean age at surgery of 64 years (32 to 90). At a mean follow-up of four years (sd 2.2, (0.5 to 8.3)) the mean Oxford knee score was 40 out of 48 (sd 7.4). A total of 12 knees (4.5%) had re-operations, of which four (1.5%) were for dislocation. All dislocations occurred in the first two years. Two (0.8%) were secondary to significant trauma that resulted in ruptured ligaments, and two (0.8%) were spontaneous. In four patients (1.5%) the UKR was converted to a primary TKR. Survival at eight years, with failure defined as any revision, was 92.1% (95% confidence interval 81.3 to 100).

The Domed Lateral OUKR gives good clinical outcomes, low re-operation and revision rates and a low dislocation rate in patients with isolated lateral compartmental disease, in the hands of the designer surgeons.

Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2014;96-B:59–64.

The Bone & Joint Journal
Vol. 95-B, Issue 2 | Pages 181 - 187
1 Feb 2013
Liddle AD Pandit H O’Brien S Doran E Penny ID Hooper GJ Burn PJ Dodd CAF Beverland DE Maxwell AR Murray DW

The Cementless Oxford Unicompartmental Knee Replacement (OUKR) was developed to address problems related to cementation, and has been demonstrated in a randomised study to have similar clinical outcomes with fewer radiolucencies than observed with the cemented device. However, before its widespread use it is necessary to clarify contraindications and assess the complications. This requires a larger study than any previously published.

We present a prospective multicentre series of 1000 cementless OUKRs in 881 patients at a minimum follow-up of one year. All patients had radiological assessment aligned to the bone–implant interfaces and clinical scores. Analysis was performed at a mean of 38.2 months (19 to 88) following surgery. A total of 17 patients died (comprising 19 knees (1.9%)), none as a result of surgery; there were no tibial or femoral loosenings. A total of 19 knees (1.9%) had significant implant-related complications or required revision. Implant survival at six years was 97.2%, and there was a partial radiolucency at the bone–implant interface in 72 knees (8.9%), with no complete radiolucencies. There was no significant increase in complication rate compared with cemented fixation (p = 0.87), and no specific contraindications to cementless fixation were identified.

Cementless OUKR appears to be safe and reproducible in patients with end-stage anteromedial osteoarthritis of the knee, with radiological evidence of improved fixation compared with previous reports using cemented fixation.

Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2013;95-B:181–7.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 94-B, Issue 9 | Pages 1216 - 1220
1 Sep 2012
Weston-Simons JS Pandit H Jenkins C Jackson WFM Price AJ Gill HS Dodd CAF Murray DW

The Oxford unicompartmental knee replacement (UKR) is an established treatment option in the management of symptomatic end-stage medial compartmental osteoarthritis (MCOA), which works well in the young and active patient. However, previous studies have shown that it is reliable only in the presence of a functionally intact anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). This review reports the outcomes, at a mean of five years and a maximum of ten years, of 52 consecutive patients with a mean age of 51 years (36 to 57) who underwent staged or simultaneous ACL reconstruction and Oxford UKR. At the last follow-up (with one patient lost to follow-up), the mean Oxford knee score was 41 (sd 6.3; 17 to 48). Two patients required conversion to TKR: one for progression of lateral compartment osteoarthritis and one for infection. Implant survival at five years was 93% (95% CI 83 to 100). All but one patient reported being satisfied with the procedure. The outcome was not significantly influenced by age, gender, femoral or tibial tunnel placement, or whether the procedure was undertaken at one- or two-stages.

In summary, ACL reconstruction and Oxford UKR gives good results in patients with end-stage MCOA secondary to ACL deficiency.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 93-B, Issue 5 | Pages 622 - 628
1 May 2011
Pandit H Jenkins C Gill HS Smith G Price AJ Dodd CAF Murray DW

The contraindications for unicompartmental knee replacement (UKR) remain controversial. The views of many surgeons are based on Kozinn and Scott’s 1989 publication which stated that patients who weighed more than 82 kg, were younger than 60 years, undertook heavy labour, had exposed bone in the patellofemoral joint or chondrocalcinosis, were not ideal candidates for UKR. Our aim was to determine whether these potential contraindications should apply to patients with a mobile-bearing UKR. In order to do this the outcome of patients with these potential contraindications was compared with that of patients without the contraindications in a prospective series of 1000 UKRs. The outcome was assessed using the Oxford knee score, the American Knee Society score, the Tegner activity score, revision rate and survival.

The clinical outcome of patients with each of the potential contraindications was similar to or better than those without each contraindication. Overall, 678 UKRs (68%) were performed in patients who had at least one potential contraindication and only 322 (32%) in patients deemed to be ideal. The survival at ten years was 97.0% (95% confidence interval 93.4 to 100.0) for those with potential contraindications and 93.6% (95% confidence interval 87.2 to 100.0) in the ideal patients.

We conclude that the thresholds proposed by Kozinn and Scott using weight, age, activity, the state of the patellofemoral joint and chondrocalcinosis should not be considered to be contraindications for the use of the Oxford UKR.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 93-B, Issue 2 | Pages 198 - 204
1 Feb 2011
Pandit H Jenkins C Gill HS Barker K Dodd CAF Murray DW

This prospective study describes the outcome of the first 1000 phase 3 Oxford medial unicompartmental knee replacements (UKRs) implanted using a minimally invasive surgical approach for the recommended indications by two surgeons and followed up independently. The mean follow-up was 5.6 years (1 to 11) with 547 knees having a minimum follow-up of five years. At five years their mean Oxford knee score was 41.3 (sd 7.2), the mean American Knee Society Objective Score 86.4 (sd 13.4), mean American Knee Society Functional Score 86.1 (sd 16.6), mean Tegner activity score 2.8 (sd 1.1). For the entire cohort, the mean maximum flexion was 130° at the time of final review.

The incidence of implant-related re-operations was 2.9%; of these 29 re-operations two were revisions requiring revision knee replacement components with stems and wedges, 17 were conversions to a primary total knee replacement, six were open reductions for dislocation of the bearing, three were secondary lateral UKRs and one was revision of a tibial component. The most common reason for further surgical intervention was progression of arthritis in the lateral compartment (0.9%), followed by dislocation of the bearing (0.6%) and revision for unexplained pain (0.6%). If all implant-related re-operations are considered failures, the ten-year survival rate was 96% (95% confidence interval, 92.5 to 99.5). If only revisions requiring revision components are considered failures the ten-year survival rate is 99.8% (confidence interval 99 to 100).

This is the largest published series of UKRs implanted through a minimally invasive surgical approach and with ten-year survival data. The survival rates are similar to those obtained with a standard open approach whereas the function is better. This demonstrates the effectiveness and safety of a minimally invasive surgical approach for implanting the Oxford UKR.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 92-B, Issue 3 | Pages 367 - 373
1 Mar 2010
Kendrick BJL Longino D Pandit H Svard U Gill HS Dodd CAF Murray DW Price AJ

The Oxford Unicompartmental Knee replacement (UKR) was introduced as a design to reduce polyethylene wear. There has been one previous retrieval study involving this implant, which reported very low rates of wear in some specimens but abnormal patterns of wear in others. There has been no further investigation of these abnormal patterns. The bearings were retrieved from 47 patients who had received a medial Oxford UKR for anteromedial osteoarthritis of the knee. None had been studied previously. The mean time to revision was 8.4 years (sd 4.1), with 20 having been implanted for over ten years. The macroscopic pattern of polyethylene wear and the linear penetration were recorded for each bearing. The mean rate of linear penetration was 0.07 mm/year. The patterns of wear fell into three categories, each with a different rate of linear penetration; 1) no abnormal macroscopic wear and a normal articular surface, n = 16 (linear penetration rate = 0.01 mm/year); 2) abnormal macroscopic wear and normal articular surfaces with extra-articular impingement, n = 16 (linear penetration rate = 0.05 mm/year); 3) abnormal macroscopic wear and abnormal articular surfaces with intra-articular impingement +/− signs of non-congruous articulation, n = 15 (linear penetration rate = 0.12 mm/year). The differences in linear penetration rate were statistically significant (p < 0.001).

These results show that very low rates of polyethylene wear are possible if the device functions normally. However, if the bearing displays suboptimal function (extra-articular, intra-articular impingement or incongruous articulation) the rates of wear increase significantly.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 92-B, Issue 3 | Pages 374 - 379
1 Mar 2010
Kendrick BJL Rout R Bottomley NJ Pandit H Gill HS Price AJ Dodd CAF Murray DW

With medial unicompartmental osteoarthritis (OA) there is occasionally a full-thickness ulcer of the cartilage on the medial side of the lateral femoral condyle. It is not clear whether this should be considered a contraindication to unicompartmental knee replacement (UKR). The aim of this study was to determine why these ulcers occur, and whether they compromise the outcome of UKR.

Case studies of knees with medial OA suggest that cartilage lesions on the medial side of the lateral condyle are caused by impingement on the lateral tibial spine as a result of the varus deformity and tibial subluxation. Following UKR the varus and the subluxation are corrected, so that impingement is prevented and the damaged part of the lateral femoral condyle is not transmitting load. An illustrative case report is presented.

Out of 769 knees with OA of the medial compartment treated with the Oxford UKR, 59 (7.7%) had partial-thickness cartilage loss and 20 (2.6%) had a full-thickness cartilage deficit on the medial side of the lateral condyle. The mean Oxford Knee Score (OKS) at the last follow-up at a mean of four years was 41.9 (13 to 48) in those with partial-thickness cartilage loss and 41.0 (20 to 48) in those with full-thickness loss. In those with normal or superficially damaged cartilage the mean was 39.5 (5 to 48) and 39.7 (8 to 48), respectively. There were no statistically significant differences between the pre-operative OKS, the final review OKS or of change in the score in the various groups.

We conclude that in medial compartment OA, damage to the medial side of the lateral femoral condyle is caused by impingement on the tibial spine and should not be considered a contraindication to an Oxford UKR, even if there is extensive full-thickness ulceration of the cartilage.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 91-B, Issue 7 | Pages 896 - 902
1 Jul 2009
Gulati A Chau R Pandit HG Gray H Price AJ Dodd CAF Murray DW

Narrow, well-defined radiolucent lines commonly observed at the bone-implant interface of unicompartmental knee replacement tibial components have been referred to as physiological radiolucencies. These should be distinguished from pathological radiolucencies, which are poorly defined, wide and progressive, and associated with loosening and infection. We studied the incidence and clinical significance of tibial radiolucent lines in 161 Oxford unicondylar knee replacements five years after surgery. All the radiographs were aligned with fluoroscopic control to obtain views parallel to the tibial tray to reveal the tibial bone-implant interface.

We found that 49 knees (30%) had complete, 52 (32%) had partial and 60 (37%) had no radiolucent lines. There was no relationship between the incidence of radiolucent lines and patient factors such as gender, body mass index and activity, or operative factors including the status of the anterior cruciate ligament and residual varus deformity. Nor was any statistical relationship established between the presence of radiolucent lines and clinical outcome, particularly pain, assessed by the Oxford Knee score and the American Knee Society score.

We conclude that radiolucent lines are common after Oxford unicompartmental knee replacement but that their aetiology remains unclear. Radiolucent lines were not a source of adverse symptoms or pain. Therefore, when attempting to identify a source of postoperative pain after Oxford unicompartmental knee replacement the presence of a physiological radiolucency should be ignored.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 91-B, Issue 4 | Pages 469 - 474
1 Apr 2009
Gulati A Pandit H Jenkins C Chau R Dodd CAF Murray DW

Varus malalignment after total knee replacement is associated with a poor outcome. Our aim was to determine whether the same was true for medial unicompartmental knee replacement (UKR). The anatomical leg alignment was measured prospectively using a long-arm goniometer in 160 knees with an Oxford UKR. Patients were then grouped according to their mechanical leg alignment as neutral (5° to 10° of valgus), mild varus (0° to 4° of valgus) and marked varus (> 0° of varus). The groups were compared at five years in terms of absolute and change in the Oxford Knee score, American Knee Society score and the incidence of radiolucent lines.

Post-operatively, 29 (18%) patients had mild varus and 13 (8%) had marked varus. The mean American Knee Society score worsened significantly (p < 0.001) with increasing varus. This difference disappeared if a three-point deduction for each degree of malalignment was removed. No other score deteriorated with increasing varus, and the frequency of occurrence of radiolucent lines was the same in each group.

We therefore conclude that after Oxford UKR, about 25% of patients have varus alignment, but that this does not compromise their clinical or radiological outcome. Following UKR the deductions for malalignment in the American Knee Society score are not justified.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 91-B, Issue 2 | Pages 185 - 189
1 Feb 2009
Pandit H Jenkins C Beard DJ Gallagher J Price AJ Dodd CAF Goodfellow JW Murray DW

We randomised 62 knees to receive either cemented or cementless versions of the Oxford unicompartmental knee replacement. The implants used in both arms of the study were similar, except that the cementless components were coated with porous titanium and hydroxyapatite. The tibial interfaces were studied with fluoroscopically-aligned radiographs.

At one year there was no difference in clinical outcome between the two groups. Narrow radiolucent lines were seen at the bone-implant interfaces in 75% of cemented tibial components. These were partial in 43%, and complete in 32%. In the cementless implants, partial radiolucencies were seen in 7% and complete radiolucencies in none. These differences are statistically significant (p < 0.0001) and imply satisfactory bone ingrowth into the cementless implants.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 89-B, Issue 12 | Pages 1597 - 1601
1 Dec 2007
Beard DJ Pandit H Gill HS Hollinghurst D Dodd CAF Murray DW

Patellofemoral joint degeneration is often considered a contraindication to medial unicompartmental knee replacement. We examined the validity of this preconception using information gathered prospectively on the intra-operative status of the patellofemoral joint in 824 knees in 793 consecutive patients who underwent Oxford unicondylar knee replacement for anteromedial osteoarthritis. All operations were performed between January 1998 and September 2005. A five-point grading system classified degeneration of the patellofemoral joint from none to full-thickness cartilage loss. A subclassification of the presence or absence of any full-thickness cartilage loss was subsequently performed to test selected hypotheses. Outcome was evaluated independently by physiotherapists using the Oxford and the American Knee Society Scores with a minimum follow-up of one year.

Full-thickness cartilage loss on the trochlear surface was observed in 100 of 785 knees (13%), on the medial facet of the patella in 69 of 782 knees (9%) and on the lateral facet in 29 of 784 knees (4%). Full-thickness cartilage loss at any location was seen in 128 knees (16%) and did not produce a significantly worse outcome than those with a normal or near-normal joint surface. The severity of the degeneration at any of the intra-articular locations also had no influence on outcome.

We concluded that, provided there is not bone loss and grooving of the lateral facet, damage to the articular cartilage of the patellofemoral joint to the extent of full-thickness cartilage loss is not a contraindication to the Oxford mobile-bearing unicompartmental knee replacement.