Certain joint prostheses provide more constraint of joint movement than others. FDA believes that the degree of constraint is an important factor affecting the safety and effectiveness of orthopedic prostheses. FDA is defining the following standard terms for categorizing the degree of constraint.
(a) A "constrained" joint prosthesis is used for joint replacement and prevents dislocation of the prosthesis in more than one anatomic plane and consists of either a single, flexible, across-the-joint component or more than one component linked together or affined.
(b) A "semi-constrained" joint prosthesis is used for partial or total joint replacement and limits translation and rotation of the prosthesis in one or more planes via the geometry of its articulating surfaces. It has no across-the-joint linkage.
(c) A "non-constrained" joint prosthesis is used for partial or total joint replacement and restricts minimally prosthesis movement in one or more planes. Its components have no across-the-joint linkage.