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Isolated tibial insert exchange in revision total knee arthroplasty

reliable and durable for wear; less so for instability, insert fracture/dissociation, or stiffness

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This study aimed to determine outcomes of isolated tibial insert exchange (ITIE) during revision total knee arthroplasty (TKA).


From 1985 to 2016, 270 ITIEs were performed at one institution for instability (55%, n = 148), polyethylene wear (39%, n = 105), insert fracture/dissociation (5%, n = 14), or stiffness (1%, n = 3). Patients with component loosening, implant malposition, infection, and extensor mechanism problems were excluded.


Survivorship free of any re-revision was 68% at ten years. For the indication of insert wear, survivorship free of any re-revision at ten years was 74%. Re-revisions were more frequent for index diagnoses other than wear (hazard ratio (HR) 1.9; p = 0.013), with ten-year survivorships of 69% for instability and 37% for insert fracture/dissociation. Following ITIE for wear, the most common reason for re-revision was aseptic loosening (33%, n = 7). For other indications, the most common reason for re-revision was recurrence of the original diagnosis. Mean Knee Society Scores improved from 54 (0 to 94) preoperatively to 77 (38 to 94) at ten years.


After ITIE, the risk and reasons for re-revision correlated with preoperative indications. The best results were for polyethylene wear. For other diagnoses, the re-revision rate was higher and the failure mode was most commonly recurrence of the original indication for the revision TKA.

Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2021;103-B(6):1103–1110.

Correspondence should be sent to Matthew P. Abdel. E-mail:

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