Journal of Materials Science: Materials in Medicine

, Volume 24, Issue 2, pp 547–554

Topographical analysis of the femoral components of ex vivo total knee replacements


    • School of Mechanical and Systems EngineeringNewcastle University
  • Emma Kennard
    • School of Mechanical and Systems EngineeringNewcastle University
  • Rajkumar Gangadharan
    • Freeman Hospital
  • David Weir
    • Freeman Hospital
  • Jim Holland
    • Freeman Hospital
  • David Deehan
    • Freeman Hospital
  • Thomas J. Joyce
    • School of Mechanical and Systems EngineeringNewcastle University

DOI: 10.1007/s10856-012-4815-z

Cite this article as:
Scholes, S.C., Kennard, E., Gangadharan, R. et al. J Mater Sci: Mater Med (2013) 24: 547. doi:10.1007/s10856-012-4815-z


With greater numbers of primary knee replacements now performed in younger patients there is a demand for improved performance. Surface roughness of the femoral component has been proposed as a causative mechanism for premature prosthesis failure. Nineteen retrieved total knee replacements were analysed using a non-contacting profilometer to measure the femoral component surface roughness. The Hood technique was used to analyse the wear and surface damage of the matching ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) tibial components. All femoral components were shown to be up to 11× rougher after their time in vivo while 95 % showed a change in skewness, further indicating wear. This increase in roughness occurred relatively soon after implantation (within 1 year) and remained unchanged thereafter. Mostly, this roughness was more apparent on the lateral condyle than the medial. This increased femoral surface roughness likely led to damage of the UHMWPE tibial component and increased Hood scores.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012