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01.09.2009 | Orthopaedic Surgery | Ausgabe 9/2009

Archives of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery 9/2009

Bi-unicompartmental versus total knee arthroplasty: a matched paired study with early clinical results

Archives of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery > Ausgabe 9/2009
N. Confalonieri, A. Manzotti, P. Cerveri, E. De Momi



The authors performed a matched paired study between two groups: bi-unicompartmental (Bi-UKR) versus total knee replacements (TKR) for the treatment of isolated bicompartmental tibio-femoral knee arthritis with an asymptomatic patello-femoral joint. The Authors believe that Bi-UKR could achieve comparable outcomes than TKR, but with a real less invasive surgery and maintaining a higher joint function.

Materials and methods

A total of 22 patients with bicompartmental tibio-femoral knee arthritis, who underwent Bi-UKR between January 1999 and March 2003, were included in the study (group A). In all the knees the arthritic changes were graded according to the classification of Älback. All patients had an asymptomatic patello-femoral joint. All patients had a varus deformity lower than 8°, a body-mass index lower than 34, no clinical evidence of ACL laxity or flexion deformity and a preoperative range of motion of a least 110°. At a minimum follow-up of 48 months, every single patient in group A was matched with a patient who had undergone a computer assisted TKR between August 1999 and September 2002 (group B). In the Bi-UKR group, in two cases we registered intraoperatively the avulsion of the treated tibial spines, requiring intra-operative internal fixation and without adverse effects on the final outcome. Statistical analysis of the results was performed.


At a minimum follow-up of 48 months there were no statistical significant differences in the surgical time while the hospital stay was statistically longer in TKR group. No statistically significant difference was seen for the Knee Society, Functional and GIUM scores between the two groups. Statistically significant better WOMAC Function and Stiffness indexes were registered for the Bi-UKR group. TKR implants were statistically better aligned with all the implants positioned within 4° of an ideal hip–knee–ankle (HKA) angle of 180°.


The results of this 48 months follow-up study suggest that Bi-UKR is a viable option for bicompartmental tibio-femoral arthritis at least as well as TKR but maintaining a higher level of function.

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