Engineering and Computer Science Faculty Publications


Cement Penetration in the Proximal Femur Does Not Depend on Broach Surface Finish

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Acta Orhopaedica Scandinavica





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In a cadaver study, we prepared 29 paired human cadaver femora using 3 different broaches of identical geometry but different surface characteristics. In one group of 20 pairs, preparation with chipped-toothed broaches was compared to diamond-shaped broaches; in the other group of 9 pairs, polished tamps for compaction of cancellous bone were compared with chipped-tooth broaches. Cancellous bone was irrigated with 1 liter pulsed lavage. The specimens were embedded in specially-designed pots. Palacos R and Simplex bone cements were used. After vacuum mixing, the cement was applied in a retrograde manner and subjected to a standard pressure protocol with a constant force of 3,000 N. Radiographs were taken and horizontal sections were obtained at predefined levels using a diamond saw. Microradiographs were taken, digitized and analyzed to assess cement penetration into cancellous bone. In 6 of 9 femora prepared using smooth tamps, femoral fractures occurred despite careful preparation technique. The microradiographic evaluation showed no significant morphometric differences between diamond and chipped-tooth or between polished and chipped-tooth broaches with regard to cement penetration into cancellous bone. Therefore, in the presence of pulsed lavage, one finds no significant effect of broach surface characteristics on cement penetration into cancellous bone of the proximal end of the femur.