Failure of a polyethylene total knee component presenting as a thigh mass: Report of a rare complication of total knee arthroplasty

D. V. Chavda, K. L. Garvin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Scopus citations


Early failure caused by wear of the polyethylene bearing surface of a metal-backed tibial platform or a metal-backed patellar component in a total knee prosthesis has been a recognized complication; patients with these problems initially have pain and instability. A patient who had a cystic mass in the distal thigh was evaluated, and osteolysis of the distal femur was detected. Polyethylene debris and reactive synovium were confirmed surgically and histologically, indicating a cause-effect relationship of polyethylene wear debris and failure of the total knee arthroplasty. Regular and long- term patient follow-up evaluation after total joint arthroplasty is essential for the detection of early evidence of occult polyethylene wear.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)211-216
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Orthopaedics and Related Research
Issue number303
StatePublished - Jan 1 1994


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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