Engineering and Computer Science Faculty Publications


Cortical Bone Viscoelasticity and Fixation Strength of Press-Fit Femoral Stems: An In-Vitro Model

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Journal of Biomechanical Engineering





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Cementless total hip femoral components rely on press-fit for initial stability and bone healing and remodeling for secondary fixation. However, the determinants of satisfactory press-fit are not well understood. In previous studies, human cortical bone loaded circumferentially to simulate press-fit exhibited viscoelastic, or time dependent, behavior. The effect of bone viscoelastic behavior on the initial stability of press-fit stems is not known. Therefore, in the current study, push-out loads of cylindrical stems press-fit into reamed cadaver diaphyseal femoral specimens were measured immediately after assembly and 24h with stem-bone diametral interference and stem surface treatment as independent variables. It was hypothesized that stem-bone interference would result in a viscoelastic response of bone that would decrease push-out load thereby impairing initial press-fit stability. Results showed that push-out load significantly decreased over a 24h period due to bone viscoelasticity. It was also found that high and low push-out loads occurred at relatively small amounts of stem-bone interference, but a relationship between stem-bone interference and push-out load could not be determined due to variability among specimens. On the basis of this model, it was concluded that press-fit fixation can occur at relatively low levels of diametral interference and that stem-bone interference elicits viscoelastic response that reduces stem stability over time. From a clinical perspective, these results suggest that there could be large variations in initial press-fit fixation among patients.