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Scheele, Christian B.; Müller, Peter E.; Schröder, Christian; Grupp, Thomas; Jansson, Volkmar; Pietschmann, Matthias F. (2019): Accuracy of a non-invasive CT-based measuring technique for cement penetration depth in human tibial UKA. In: BMC Medical Imaging, Vol. 19, 9
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Abstract

Aseptic loosening of the tibial component remains a major cause of failure in unicompartmental knee arthroplasty (UKA) and may be related to micro-motion at the cement-bone interface due to insufficient cement penetration depth. Cement penetration is therefore taken as an indicator of solid fixation strength and primary stability. However, its non-invasive clinical assessment remains difficult in vivo as conventional x-ray is prone to distortion and CT-scans (computed tomography) are difficult to assess due to metal artifacts. The purpose of this study was to develop and validate a reliable in vivo measuring technique of cement penetration depth in human tibial UKA. In an experimental setting, twelve UKA were implanted in fresh-frozen human cadaver knees using a minimal-invasive medial approach. Cement penetration depth was then measured via 1) virtual 3D-models based on metal artifact reduced CT-scans and 2) histological evaluation of nine serial cross-section cuts through the implant-cement-bone-interface. Subsequently, a concordance analysis between the two measuring techniques was conducted. The average cement penetration depth was 1) 2.20 mm (SD 0.30 mm) measured on metal artifact reduced CT-scans and 2) 2.21 mm (SD = 0.42) measured on serial cuts (p = 0.956). The mean difference between both techniques was 0.01 mm (SD 0.31 mm) and the Person correlation coefficient was r = 0.686 (p = 0.014). All differences were within the upper and lower limit of agreement. There was no evidence of any significant proportional bias between both techniques (p = 0.182). CT-based non-invasive measurement of cement penetration depth delivers reliable results in measuring the penetration depth in tibial UKA. Thereby, it enables clinicians and researchers to assess the cement penetration for in vivo diagnostics in the clinical setting as well as in vitro biomechanical research with subsequent application of load to failure on the implant-cement-bone-interface.