The influence of tibial component malalignment on bone strain in revision total knee replacement.

Benjamin Rastetter, Samantha Wright, Sabina Gheduzzi, Anthony Miles, Sally Clift

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Revision total knee replacement is a challenging surgical procedure typically associated with significant loss of bone stock in the proximal tibia. To increase the fixation stability, extended stems are frequently used for the tibial component in revision surgery. The design of the tibial stem influences the load transfer from tibial component to the surrounding bone and is cited as a possible cause for the clinically reported pain in the location of the stem-end. This study aimed to analyse the strain distribution of a fully cemented revision tibial component with a validated finite element model. The model was developed from a scanned composite tibia (Sawbones), with an implanted, fully cemented stemmed tibial component aligned to the mechanical axis of the tibia. Loading was applied to the tibial component with mediolateral compartment load distributions of 60:40 and 80:20. Three strain gauged composite tibias with implanted tibial components of the same design using the same loading distribution were tested to obtain experimental strains at five locations in the proximal tibia. The finite element model developed was validated against strain measurements obtained in the experimental study. The strains displayed similar patterns (R2 = 0.988) and magnitudes with those predicted from the finite element model. The displacement of the stem-end from the natural mechanical axis in the finite element model demonstrated increased strains in the stem-end region with a close proximity of the distal stem with the cortical bone. The simulation of a mediolateral compartment load of 80:20 developed peak cortical strain values on the posteriormedial side beneath the stem. This may possibly be related to the clinically reported pain at the stem-end. Furthermore, stem positioning in close proximity or contact with the posterior cortical bone is a contributory factor for an increase in distal strain.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)561
Number of pages568
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part H - Journal of Engineering in Medicine
Issue number6
Early online date21 Mar 2016
Publication statusPublished - 21 May 2016


  • Revision total knee replacement
  • arthroplasty
  • finite element
  • experimental validation
  • cemented implant


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