A synthetic meniscus implant was recently developed for the treatment of patients with mild to moderate osteoarthritis with knee pain associated with medial joint overload. The implant is distinctively different from most orthopedic implants in its pliable construction, and non-anchored design, which enables implantation through a mini-arthrotomy without disruption to the bone, cartilage, and ligaments. Due to these features, it is important to show that the material and design can withstand knee joint conditions. This study evaluated the long-term performance of this device by simulating loading for a total of 5 million gait cycles (Mc), corresponding to approximately five years of service in-vivo. All five implants remained in good condition and did not dislodge from the joint space during the simulation. Mild abrasion was detected by electron microscopy, but µ-CT scans of the implants confirmed that the damage was confined to the superficial surfaces. The average gravimetric wear rate was 14.5 mg/Mc, whereas volumetric changes in reconstructed µ-CT scans point to an average wear rate of 15.76 mm(3)/Mc (18.8 mg/Mc). Particles isolated from the lubricant had average diameter of 15 µm. The wear performance of this polycarbonate-urethane meniscus implant concept under ISO-14243 loading conditions is encouraging.
Keywords: Fatigue; Meniscectomy; Polycarbonate-urethane; Prosthesis; Simulator.
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