Polyethylene failure in New Jersey low-contact stress total knee arthroplasty

Chun Hsiung Huang, Tai Horng Young, Yung Ta Lee, Jeng Shiung Jan, Cheng Kung Cheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


From January 1985 to December 1990, 598 consecutive New Jersey low- contact stress (LCS) total knee arthroplasties (TKAs) were performed for gonarthrosis. Among these 598 operations, 322 were with rotating platform elements and 276 were with meniscal bearing elements. During 5 to 8 years of follow-up, eight knees had severe symptomatic polyethylene failure that required revision surgery; all eight cases were meniscal bearing types. The failed polyethylene inserts were retrieved and studied. It was observed that there were four probable failure mechanisms associated with the catastrophic polyethylene wear. First, insufficient thickness of the meniscal bearing was the major reason for wear. Second, the malpositioning of the metal tibial tray in the transverse plane resulted in the breaking of the meniscal bearing. Third, the inability of the patellar to rotate due to tissue ingrowth made the polyethylene break. Last, yellowing of the subsurface of the meniscal bearing was a sign of polyethylene failure. These four possible failure mechanisms are all associated with the design of the meniscal bearing type of LCS knee prostheses. Therefore, it is suggested that the design of the LCS knee prosthesis should be modified.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-160
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biomedical Materials Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1998 Jan 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Polyethylene failure in New Jersey low-contact stress total knee arthroplasty'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this