Tim Holsgrove


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Biomechanical Testing of Hinged Knee Prostheses
Biomechanical tests using physiological loads are crucial in assessing orthopaedic devices in ways that cannot be completed in-vivo. A custom-developed knee-rig was used to assess the required quadriceps force to move a new hinged knee prosthesis in flexion and extension, and compare this with an explanted device of the same make and model. It was hoped that this would provide information about any contamination effects that may occur in-vivo. Each implant was mounted and tested six times.

The biomechanical tests and statistical analysis suggest that the explanted prosthesis was significantly stiffer than a new prosthesis of the same design at large flexion angles in flexion, and at all but the smallest tested flexion angles in extension. However, while there were significant differences in the quadriceps force, the maximum difference represented a 9% increase compared to the new implant. It is estimated that such a small increase in quadriceps force would not radically alter the clinical situation.

Further testing is due to be completed to gain a deeper understanding of the effects of the in-vivo environment on the mechanical performance of the prosthesis.

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