Patellar component failure in cementless total knee arthroplasty

Clin Orthop Relat Res. 1988 Nov:(236):106-14.


One hundred twenty-two total knee arthroplasties were performed with porous ingrowth fixation of the patellar component between February 1984 and February 1987. Twelve subsequently have experienced fatigue fracture of the patellar component at the peg-plate junction. All fractured patellar components demonstrated excellent ingrowth and fixation of the porous titanium fiber mesh-peg surfaces with no ingrowth into the porous plate underlying the polyethylene patellar surface. While the initial group of 122 arthroplasties was only slightly greater than one-third male, the preponderance of patellar fractures was in males (ten of 12). Patients with patellar component failure were on average younger and heavier and had a greater range of knee motion than the index group. The average time from implantation to recognition of fracture was 24 months. Biomechanical analysis of the force system about a domed patella demonstrated that loading of the patellofemoral joint results in eccentric loading of the dome surface. Peg fixation not accompanied by fixation of the overlying plate allows these high eccentric forces to load the peg-plate junction in shear with consequent fatigue at the peg-plate junction. These results indicate that the shear forces are sufficiently high to warrant caution in the use of peg-plate systems in which peg ingrowth without plate ingrowth occurs.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Knee Prosthesis*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patella / diagnostic imaging
  • Patella / surgery*
  • Prosthesis Design
  • Prosthesis Failure
  • Radiography
  • Sex Factors
  • Time Factors