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J Bone Joint Surg Br. 1998 Sep;80(5):850-8.

Total knee arthroplasty with the PFC system. Results at a minimum of ten years and survivorship analysis.

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Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.


A consecutive series of 235 total knee arthroplasties using the PFC system was followed prospectively for at least ten years in 186 patients. The operation was for osteoarthritis in 150 knees, for rheumatoid arthritis in 83, and for Paget's disease and femoral osteonecrosis in one knee each. At the latest review 56 patients had died, five were too ill to assess and three could not be traced. The PFC knee replacement utilised was a non-conforming posterior-cruciate-retaining prosthesis with a polyethylene insert which is flat in the sagittal plane. The patella was resurfaced using a metal-backed component in 170 cases, but later in the series we used an all-polyethylene component in 22 knees; 43 patellae were not resurfaced. The survival without need for reoperation for any reason was 90% at ten years. Nineteen revisions were component-related due to failure of nine metal-backed patellae, nine polyethylene inserts, and one unresurfaced patella; two reoperations were for synovectomy (one for recurrent haemarthrosis and one for recurrent rheumatoid synovitis) and three were for metastatic joint infection. There were no revisions for aseptic loosening of femoral or tibial components, or the all-polyethylene patellar replacement. The PFC system provides good and predictable results in tricompartmental arthritis of the knee. Loosening appeared to be negligible, but there were wear-related problems in 8%. The change from a metal-backed patella and an increase in the contact area of the tibial insert should provide further improvement by minimising wear.

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