Metal debris from bony resection in total knee arthroplasty - is it an issue?

Gotterson, Peter R., Nusem, Iulian, Pearcy, Mark J., & Crawford, Ross W. (2005) Metal debris from bony resection in total knee arthroplasty - is it an issue? Acta Orthopaedica, 76(4), pp. 475-480.


Background Metal particles are generated during bone preparation in knee arthroplasty. These particles may produce third-body wear, or may have a role in osteolysis. Knowledge of their characteristics may help in the development of methods to reduce the amount of metal debris during bone cutting procedures.

Material and methodsWe performed bony resection of the distal femur and proximal tibia on 15 pig knees, simulating a total knee arthroplasty (TKA). Metal debris was collected from the saw blades, cutting blocks and bone surfaces and cleaned for microanalysis.

Results The average loss of metal from the saw blades was 1.13 mg. The average volume of a wear particle was 3.4 × 10-16m3. From this, it was estimated that approximately 500,000 particles are released from the saw blade alone. Material analysis of the particles indicated that the majority originated from the metallic cutting guides, suggesting that many millions of wear particles would be generated during the surgical procedure. Two particle shapes predominated: platelet shape and ploughed shape.

Interpretation Wear particles are produced during resection for a TKA. These may enter the artificial articulation and cause accelerated wear and macrophage activation. Redesign of cutting blocks and saw blades may reduce the amount of debris produced during surgery.

Impact and interest:

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5 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 8250
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: For more information, please refer to the journal's website (see hypertext link) or contact the author.
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ISSN: 1745-3674
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENGINEERING (090000) > BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING (090300) > Biomechanical Engineering (090302)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2005 Taylor & Francis
Copyright Statement: First published in Acta Orthopaedica 76(4):pp. 475-480.
Deposited On: 26 Jun 2007 00:00
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:10

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