Sometimes young adults with knee arthritis need surgery but can't have the standard types of operations. They are either too young, too active, or too heavy (obese). The McKeever hemiarthroplasty may be a good option. In this study, surgeons report on the long-term results of a series of 23 knees with this implant. All patients were less than 60 years old. Everyone was followed for at least 12 years.
The McKeever device is a thin piece of metal placed on the tibial (lower leg) side of the knee. It replaces the bony plateau or shelf of bone that makes up the lower half of the knee joint. It has a T-shaped keel underneath to help hold it in place. It's used most often when arthritic changes only affect one side of the joint (unicompartmental).
Results were best in the youngest patients. The patients who kept the implant the longest were on average nine years younger than patients who needed a second operation. The younger patients kept the McKeever implant twice as long as the older patients who needed a revision.
Everyone agreed they would have the same operation again. It works well to delay the need for a partial or total knee joint replacement. With the McKeever implant they had more function with less pain.
Bryan D. Springer, MD, et al. McKeever Hemiarthroplasty of the Knee in Patients Less than Sixty Years Old. In The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. February 2006. Vol. 88-A. No. 2. Pp. 366-371.'