An improved method for measuring tibiofemoral contact areas in total knee arthroplasty: a comparison of K-scan sensor and Fuji film

J Biomech. 1999 Sep;32(9):951-8. doi: 10.1016/s0021-9290(99)00072-x.


A computerised, real time, thin-film pressure transducer method is used to measure tibiofemoral contact area in total knee arthroplasty (TKA) devices that is easier and more reliable and reproducible as compared to the Fuji pressure-sensitive film technique. Many authors have suggested that contact areas and pressures within TKA devices can be a predictor of wear and failure of the ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) tibial insert. In this study, two contact area measurement techniques (Fuji pressure-sensitive Film and K-scan sensor system) were compared using a custom TKA testing jig designed for freedom of movement so that in any loading configuration the component found and seated in its own "home" position. The K-scan system was used to measure contact areas of one TKA design at several angles from 0 to 110 degrees flexion with loads equating to 4, 4.5, and 5 times body weight. For comparison, four ranges of Fuji film were used to measure areas at the same flexion angles but at 5 times body weight only. Contact areas measured with the Fuji films were 11-36% (p < 0.05) lower than those measured by the K-scan sensor.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Body Weight
  • Electronics, Medical / instrumentation
  • Femur*
  • Forecasting
  • Humans
  • Knee Prosthesis*
  • Movement
  • Plastics
  • Polyethylenes / chemistry
  • Pressure
  • Prosthesis Design*
  • Prosthesis Failure
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Surface Properties
  • Tibia*
  • Transducers, Pressure
  • Weight-Bearing


  • Plastics
  • Polyethylenes
  • ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene