Journal article

Biomechanical evaluation of porous biodegradable scaffolds for revision knee arthroplasty

Tibial bone defect is a critical problem for revision knee arthroplasty. Instead of using metallic spacer or cement, biodegradable scaffolds could be an alternative solution. A numerical model of a revision knee arthroplasty was thus developed to estimate the mechanical resistance of the scaffold in this demanding situation. The tibia, scaffold, and prosthesis were represented by simplified parameterised geometries. The maximal gait cycle force was applied asymmetrically to simulate a critical loading. Several parameters were analysed: 1) inter-individual variability, 2) cortical bone stiffness, 3) cortical bone thickness, 4) prosthesis fixation quality, and 5) scaffold thickness. The calculated scaffold strain was compared to its experimental ultimate strain. Among the tested parameters, failure was only predicted with scaffold thickness below 5 mm. This study suggests that biodegradable bone scaffolds could be used to fill bone defects in revision knee arthroplasty, but scaffold size seems to be the limiting factor.

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