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The clinical outcome of the different HemiCAP and UniCAP knee implants: A systematic and comprehensive review

Michael-Alexander Malahias, Dimitrios Chytas, Fritz Thorey
  • Michael-Alexander Malahias
    ATOS Hospital Heidelberg, International Center for Hip, Knee and Foot Surgery, Heidelberg, Germany |
  • Dimitrios Chytas
    National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, School of Medicine, 2nd Orthopedic Department, Athens, Greece
  • Fritz Thorey
    ATOS Hospital Heidelberg, International Center for Hip, Knee and Foot Surgery, Heidelberg, Germany


The focal metallic cartilage resurfacing is a surgical method that offers an appropriate step between the biological techniques and arthroplasty in middle-aged patients with full-thickness cartilage defects. The advantages of this technique are that it addresses the defect, respects healthy tissues and provides stability and contoured surface similar to a full arthroplasty. A systematic review was conducted according to Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. Two reviewers (MM and DC) independently conducted the search using the MEDLINE/PubMed database and the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (CDSR). These databases were searched for the terms hemicap knee implant and unicap knee implant and knee focal metallic implant. From the initial 21 studies that were evaluated, 10 were eligible for analysis. Considering both the HemiCAP focal implant and the HemiCap® Wave patellofemoral prosthesis, we found a lack of mid- to long-term clinical outcomes in well-designed prospective clinical studies. No Level I or II studies were found, while the limited number of patients who were included undermines the overall clinical results of these studies. The progression of osteoarthritis, the persisting pain and the subsequent high revision or failure rates in the limited available studies with long-term follow-up, seem to be the major drawbacks of these partial resurfacing techniques. Utilization of partial resurfacing for femoral or patellofemoral compartments results in good short-term outcome for middle-aged patients as a step between biological technique and total knee arthroplasty. The surgeon should be cognizant and also notify the patient of the high failure rates that are reported in the literature in mid- to longterm follow-up and ultimately, the decision to perform partial resurfacing should be taken by both the patient and the orthopedic surgeon.


knee focal metallic implant, hemicap, unicap, Wave prosthesis, inlay design

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Submitted: 2017-12-10 13:54:36
Published: 2018-06-14 09:33:46
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Copyright (c) 2018 Michael-Alexander Malahias, Dimitrios Chytas, Fritz Thorey

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