The mechanisms controlling and limiting movement and serving to transmit load between the femur and the tibia are discussed. Having accounted for the transmission of all components of force and couple across the joint and noted the load-bearing role of the menisci, some principles which might guide the design of knee prostheses are deduced. It is shown that current designs transgress some of these principles. An experimental prosthesis is then described, which incorporates analogues of the natural menisci. The possible practical application of this novel principle has been studied in cadaveric human joints and in living patients.
- © 1978 British Editorial Society of Bone and Joint Surgery