Condylar Replacements

What Were the Steps Leading to the Basic Condylar Replacement Knees?
  • Peter S. Walker


The earliest artificial knees used cobalt-chrome alloy for the femoral component, polyethylene for the tibial component, and acrylic cement for the fixation. However they were completely different in design. The Gunston Polycentric consisted of small parts for resurfacing the femoral and tibial condyles, to preserve the same polycentric motion as the normal knee. The Freeman-Swanson used large components with close conformity, where the cruciate ligaments needed to be resected. The Kodama-Yamamoto used anatomically shaped uncemented components with a patella flange. The Townley was closely anatomic with attention given to precise limb alignment. There were many other designs with ingenious mechanisms for controlling motion in specific ways. From the work of the early pioneers, principles for successful design were formulated. As a result, during the 1970s, major advances were made which set the stage for the designs of the future. By the late 1970s, the designs had converged to the basic types to be used for particular indications depending on the severity of the arthritis. Knee systems now became the norm, ranging from unicompartmental to stabilized. At the end of the first decade, designs were becoming more reliable, providing a high level of function and durability, with few problems evident. The majority of the knees used were the cruciate-retaining (CR) and the posterior stabilized (PS). Since 1980, there have been many refinements in the designs, materials, and techniques, further improving the results.


Total knee Artificial knee Condylar replacement Unicompartmental Cruciate resection Cruciate retaining Design principles Types of knee Total condylar 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter S. Walker
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Orthopedic SurgeryNew York UniversityNew YorkUSA

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