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J Bone Joint Surg Am. 1998 Apr;80(4):518-28.

Porous-coated metal-backed patellar components in total knee replacement. A postmortem retrieval analysis.

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Bone and Joint Research Laboratory, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Salt Lake City, Utah 84148, USA.


The use of porous-coated metal-backed patellar components to achieve consistent fixation by bone ingrowth and to provide relief of pain warrants serious scrutiny. We conducted a quantitative postmortem investigation of eleven consecutively retrieved components with use of high-resolution contact radiographs, electron microscopy, and histological analysis. The implants had been in situ for a mean (and standard deviation) of 45+/-36 months (range, one to eighty-four months). Analysis of the high-resolution contact radiographs revealed that a mean of 86+/-12 per cent (range, 61 to 100 per cent) of the porous coating was in contact with the host bone. Backscattered electron imaging showed that the mean volume fraction of bone ingrowth was 13+/-9 per cent (range, 0 to 30 per cent). No significant difference was detected, with the numbers available, between the volume fraction of the bone ingrowth measured in the porous coating and that of the host cancellous bone in the patellae.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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