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Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc. 2013 Oct;21(10):2392-7. doi: 10.1007/s00167-012-1986-6. Epub 2012 Apr 4.

Femoro-tibial kinematics after TKA in fixed- and mobile-bearing knees in the sagittal plane.

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Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Hannover Medical School, Anna-von-Borries-Strasse 1-7, Hannover, Germany,



Lack of the anterior cruciate ligament in total knee arthroplasty results in paradoxical movement of the femur as opposed to the tibia under deep flexion. Total knee arthroplasty with mobile-bearing inlays has been developed to provide increased physiological movement of the knee joint and to reduce polyethylene abrasion. The aim of this study was to perform an in vitro analysis of the kinematic movement in the sagittal plane in order to show differences between fixed- and mobile-bearing TKA in comparison with the natural knee joint.


Seven knee joints of human cadaver material were used in a laboratory experiment. Fixed- and mobile-bearing inlays were tested in sequences under isokinetic extension in so-called kinemator for knee joints, which can simulate muscular traction power by the use of hydraulic cylinders, which crossover the knee joint. As a target parameter, the a.p. translation of the tibio-femoral relative movement was measured in the sagittal plane under ultrasound (Zebris) control.


The results show a reduced tibial a.p. translation in relation to the femur in the bearing group compared to the natural joint. In the Z-axis, between 110° and 50° of flexion, linear movement decreases towards caudal movement under extension. Admittedly, the study did not show differences in the movement pattern between "mobile-bearing" and "fixed-bearing" prostheses.


Results of this study cannot prove functional advantages of mobile-bearing prostheses for the knee joint kinematic after TKA. Both types of prostheses show typical kinematics of an anterior instability, hence they were incapable of performing physiological movement.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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