Conforming Polyethylene Inserts in Total Knee Arthroplasty: Beyond the Posterior-Stabilized and Cruciate-Retaining Debate

J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2021 Nov 15;29(22):e1097-e1104. doi: 10.5435/JAAOS-D-20-01232.


Total knee arthroplasty continues to be one of the most commonly performed surgical procedures worldwide. However, considerable controversy exists regarding the optimal implant design. Total knee implants with both posterior-stabilized and cruciate-retaining designs have excellent long-term outcomes with inadequate data demonstrating superiority of either design. Recently, the popularity of total knee designs with more conforming polyethylene liners has increased. These polyethylene inserts prevent paradoxical anterior translation of the femur, without relying on a cam and post mechanism, and promote more physiologic native knee kinematics. This review summarizes the design rationale of several commercially available implants, discusses the kinematic data of several designs, and reviews the available clinical data.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Knee*
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Humans
  • Knee Joint / surgery
  • Knee Prosthesis*
  • Polyethylene


  • Polyethylene