Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research®

, Volume 468, Issue 1, pp 73–81 | Cite as

Does Bearing Design Influence Midterm Survivorship of Unicompartmental Arthroplasty?

  • John-Paul WhittakerEmail author
  • Douglas D. R. Naudie
  • James P. McAuley
  • Richard W. McCalden
  • Steven J. MacDonald
  • Robert B. Bourne
Symposium: Papers Presented at the Annual Meetings of the Knee Society


Medial unicompartmental arthroplasties (UKA) are available with mobile- and fixed-bearing designs, with the advantages of one bearing over another unproven. We questioned whether the bearing design influenced clinical outcome, survivorship, the reason for revision, or the timing of failures. We retrospectively reviewed 179 patients (229 knees) who had medial unicompartmental knee arthroplasties between 1990 and 2007; of these 79 knees had a mobile-bearing design and 150 knees a fixed-bearing design. Patients with mobile-bearing UKA had a minimum followup of 1 year (mean, 3.6 years; range, 1–11.3 years); those with fixed-bearing UKA a minimum followup of 1 year (mean, 8.1 years; range, 1–17.8 years). Patients were evaluated with clinical outcome scores and radiographically using the Knee Society rating system. Seven of 79 (9%) mobile-bearing knees underwent revision at a mean of 2.6 years, and 22 of 150 (15%) fixed-bearing knees underwent revision at a mean of 6.9 years. The 5-year cumulative survival rates were 88% (SE ± 0.47, 95% CI 0.7229–1) and 96% (SE ± 0.16, 95% CI 0.93–0.9979) for the mobile- and fixed-bearing designs respectively using the endpoint of revision surgery. We observed no differences in the indications or complexity of revision surgery between the groups and none in midterm survivorship.

Level of Evidence: Level III, comparative study. See Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.


Total Knee Arthroplasty Aseptic Loosening Tibial Component High Tibial Osteotomy Primary Total Knee Arthroplasty 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We thank Dr. C.H. Rorabeck for his patient contributions and Amarpreet Sanghera, Julie Marr, and Jeff Guerin for their help in the preparation of the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© The Association of Bone and Joint Surgeons® 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • John-Paul Whittaker
    • 1
    Email author
  • Douglas D. R. Naudie
    • 2
  • James P. McAuley
    • 2
  • Richard W. McCalden
    • 2
  • Steven J. MacDonald
    • 2
  • Robert B. Bourne
    • 2
  1. 1.Robert Jones & Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic HospitalOswestryUK
  2. 2.Division of Orthopaedic Surgery, London Health Sciences Centre, University Campus University of Western OntarioLondonCanada

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