Tibiofemoral contact stress and stress distribution evaluation of total knee arthroplasties

J Arthroplasty. 1995 Aug;10(4):480-91. doi: 10.1016/s0883-5403(05)80150-0.


The Fuji film (Itochu, Los Angeles, CA) area analysis technique demonstrates that a more accurate assessment of tibiofemoral contact stresses is possible when the film is used at 37 degrees C and at the upper end of its sensitivity range (in this case, a 2,000-N load). An AMK with a regular and Hylamer-M insert (DePuy, Warsaw, IN), an MG II (Zimmer, Warsaw, IN), an Omnifit (Osteonics, Allendale, NJ), an Ortholoc III (Dow Corning Wright, Midland, MI), a PCA II (Howmedica, Rutherford, NJ), and a PFC (Johnson & Johnson Orthopaedics, Raynham, MA) had average contact stresses that varied only 12% at 60 degrees flexion. At 0 degrees, 15 degrees and 60 degrees flexion, stresses ranged from 13 to 25 MPa. Contact area distribution ratios, which were smaller at 37 degrees C than at 24 degrees C, provide a quantitative means of grouping implants according to the shape of the tibiofemoral contact area. The Omnifit, MG II, PCA II, and PFC had small ratios (symmetric areas). The AMK and Ortholoc III had large ratios (asymmetric contact areas). If the impression is reflective of wear, it would be expected to be focal in knees with small ratios and contact areas, and uniform in knees with large ratios and contact areas, whereas large ratios and small areas would imply a linear wear pattern. Calibrated electrical resistance contact stress measurements indicated that the Fuji film measurements underestimated the magnitude of contact stresses. They also provided a means of quantifying the rate of area increase during initial loading of the knees, with the highest area increase noted for the knee with the roughest insert (Ortholoc III) and the lowest area increase for the knee with the smoothest insert (PCA II).

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Electric Impedance
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Humans
  • Knee Prosthesis*
  • Prosthesis Design
  • Stress, Mechanical