Prediction of backside micromotion in total knee replacements by finite element simulation

Proc Inst Mech Eng H. 2012 Mar;226(3):235-45. doi: 10.1177/0954411911435593.


The micromotion at the interface between the polyethylene tibial insert and metal tibial tray [corrected] in modular total knee replacements [corrected] has been shown to contribute to wear particle-induced osteolysis and may [corrected] cause implant failure. Therefore, studying the design parameters that are involved in the backside wear process is an important task that may lead to improvement in new total knee replacements. In the present study, a finite element model was developed to predict the backside micromotion along the entire modular interface. Both the linear elastic constitutive model and non-linear J2-plasticity constitutive model were considered in the finite element model for polyethylene and were corroborated against published results obtained from displacement controlled knee simulator wear tests. The finite element simulation with the non-linear J2-plasticity constitutive model was able to predict backside micromotion [corrected] more accurately than the simulation with the linear elastic constitutive model. [corrected] The developed finite element model (including the non-linear J2-plasticity constitutive model) was then applied to assess the effects of the tibial tray locking mechanism design (dovetails versus fullperipheral [corrected] design) and different levels of interference fit on insert micromotion. The developed finite element model, implementing the non-linear J2-plasticity constitutive model, was shown to successfully predict clinical amounts of backside micromotion and could be used for the design and development of total knee replacements for the reduction of backside micromotion and polyethylene [corrected] wear.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Computer Simulation
  • Humans
  • Joint Instability / physiopathology*
  • Joint Instability / surgery*
  • Knee Joint / physiopathology*
  • Knee Joint / surgery*
  • Knee Prosthesis*
  • Models, Biological*
  • Motion
  • Range of Motion, Articular*
  • Treatment Outcome