Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy

, Volume 16, Issue 1, pp 56-63

First online:

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Effects of a contoured articular prosthetic device on tibiofemoral peak contact pressure: a biomechanical study

  • Christoph BecherAffiliated withDepartment of Orthopaedic Surgery, Phillips University Marburg Email author 
  • , Roland HuberAffiliated withBone and Joint Biomechanic Laboratory, Medical University of Vienna
  • , Hajo ThermannAffiliated withCentre for Knee and Foot Surgery/Sports Trauma, ATOS Clinic Center
  • , Hans H. PaesslerAffiliated withCentre for Knee and Foot Surgery/Sports Trauma, ATOS Clinic Center
  • , Gobert SkrbenskyAffiliated withBone and Joint Biomechanic Laboratory, Medical University of Vienna


Many middle-aged patients are affected by localized cartilage defects that are neither appropriate for primary, nor repeat biological repair methods, nor for conventional arthroplasty. This in vitro study aims to determine the peak contact pressure in the tibiofemoral joint with a partial femoral resurfacing device (HemiCAP®, Arthrosurface Inc., Franklin, MA, USA). Peak contact pressure was determined in eight fresh-frozen cadaveric specimens using a Tekscan sensor placed in the medial compartment above the menisci. A closed loop robotic knee simulator was used to test each knee in static stance positions (5°/15°/30°/45°) with body weight ground reaction force (GRF), 30° flexion with twice the body weight (2tBW) GRF and dynamic knee-bending cycles with body weight GRF. The ground reaction force was adjusted to the living body weight of the cadaver donor and maintained throughout all cycles. Each specimen was tested under four different conditions: Untreated, flush HemiCAP® implantation, 1-mm proud implantation and 20-mm defect. A paired sampled t test to compare means (significance, P ≤ 0.05) was used for statistical analysis. On average, no statistically significant differences were found in any testing condition comparing the normal knee with flush device implantation. With the 1-mm proud implant, statistically significant increase of peak contact pressures of 217% (5° stance), 99% (dynamic knee bending) and 90% (30° stance with 2tBW) compared to the untreated condition was seen. No significant increase of peak contact pressure was evaluated with the 20-mm defect. The data suggests that resurfacing with the HemiCAP® does not lead to increased peak contact pressure with flush implantation. However, elevated implantation results in increased peak contact pressure and might be biomechanically disadvantageous in an in vivo application.


Osteochondral defect Tibiofemoral joint Articular prosthetic device Peak contact pressure Knee biomechanics