Development of the Oxford Knee
The Oxford knee was originally designed by John Goodfellow, a Surgeon, and John O'Connor, an Engineer, and was first implanted in 1976. Initially there was appreciable interest in the Oxford Knee. However when I joint the team in 1994, after John Goodfellow retired, its usage had decreased and only a few were being implanted. We redesigned the knee so it could be used for a wider range of patients and, more importantly, developed a new instrumentation system with which it could be accurately implanted through a small incision. This resulted in a faster recovery, improved function and the numbers implanted steadily increased.
As the operation was still difficult to perform, particularly by surgeons doing small numbers, we developed new techniques and instruments. This took more than five years as each modification had to be assessed clinical and if necessary further improved. When the new system, known as Microplasty, was introduced the operation became much more reliable. We have experimented with various computer and robotic assisted systems and have found that Mircoplasty is better.
Initially the Oxford knee was attached to bone with bone cement. Although this is usually very reliable the fixation can fail. We therefore develop a cementless version which has a porous coating into which bone can grow resulting in firm and hopefully permanent fixation. Before this device was generally used it was carefully assessed it and found that it had better results than the cemented knee. National data now show it is now the most commonly used and best performing partial knee replacement.