Acrylic cement creeps but does not allow much subsidence of femoral stems

N.J.J. Verdonschot, H.W.J. Huiskes

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Abstract

It has been suggested that the endurance of cemented femoral reconstructions in total hip arthroplasty is affected by the creep of acrylic cement, but it is not known to what extent cement creeps under loading conditions in vivo, or how this affects load transfer. We have simulated the long-term creep properties of acrylic cement in finite-element models of femoral stem constructs and analysed their effects. We investigated whether subsidence rates measured in vivo could be explained by creep of acrylic cement, and if polished, unbonded, stems accommodated creep better than bonded stems. Our findings showed that polished prostheses subsided only about 50 µm as a result of cement creep. The long-term prosthetic subsidence rates caused by creep of acrylic cement are therefore very small and do not explain the excessive migration rates which have sometimes been reported. Cement creep did, however, relax cement stresses and create a more favourable stress distribution at the interfaces. These trends were found around both the bonded and unbonded stems. Our results did not confirm that polished, unbonded, stems accommodated creep better than bonded stems in terms of cement and interface stress patterns.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)665-669
JournalJournal of Bone & Joint Surgery, British Volume
Volume79
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1997

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