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The University of Southampton

Research project: Effect of total knee replacement design and surgical technique on patello-femoral joint performance: an explicit finite element study

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Patellar resurfacing in TKR is assumed to release pain and restore knee function. Despite the recent advances and success in TKR operations, patellar resurfacing has been associated with an increase in complications at the patello-femoral joint, including poor tracking, instability, wear, loosening and fractures.

The objective of the study was to determine the variation of patellar kinematics (tracking motion) and contact mechanics (contact force, area, pressure and stress) induced by component design and surgical technique. A three-dimensional finite element (FE) model of TKR, including the tibio-femoral and patello-femoral joints was developed. Explicit FE analysis was used to simulate TKR under a deep knee flexion. The models predicted substantial increase in patellar pressure and stress with nonconforming patello-femoral articulating surfaces. Changes to the orientation and geometry of the femoral groove and overall alignment of the femoral component were effective in reducing the predicted contact pressures. The FE model used in the current study provided insight into the effect of component design parameters and surgical technique on patellofemoral kinematics and contact mechanics.

Effects of knee replacement
Research into knee replacement
Research into knee replacement

Related research groups

Bioengineering Science
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