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Open Access Research article

The effect of abductor muscle and anterior-posterior hip contact load simulation on the in-vitro primary stability of a cementless hip stem

Youngbae Park1*, Carolyne Albert2, Yong-San Yoon1, Göran Fernlund3, Hanspeter Frei4 and Thomas R Oxland5

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Mechanical Engineering, Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Daejeon, Republic of Korea

2 Orthopaedic and Rehabilitation Engineering Center, Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA

3 Department of Materials Engineering, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

4 Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada

5 Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

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Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Research 2010, 5:40  doi:10.1186/1749-799X-5-40

Published: 24 June 2010

Abstract

Background

In-vitro mechanical tests are commonly performed to assess pre-clinically the effect of implant design on the stability of hip endoprostheses. There is no standard protocol for these tests, and the forces applied vary between studies. This study examines the effect of the abductor force with and without application of the anterior-posterior hip contact force in the in-vitro assessment of cementless hip implant stability.

Methods

Cementless stems (VerSys Fiber Metal) were implanted in twelve composite femurs which were divided into two groups: group 1 (N = 6) was loaded with the hip contact force only, whereas group 2 (N = 6) was additionally subjected to an abductor force. Both groups were subjected to the same cranial-caudal hip contact force component, 2.3 times body weight (BW) and each specimen was subjected to three levels of anterior-posterior hip contact load: 0, -0.1 to 0.3 BW (walking), and -0.1 to 0.6 BW (stair climbing). The implant migration and micromotion relative to the femur was measured using a custom-built system comprised of 6 LVDT sensors.

Results

Substantially higher implant motion was observed when the anterior-posterior force was 0.6BW compared to the lower anterior-posterior load levels, particularly distally and in retroversion. The abductor load had little effect on implant motion when simulating walking, but resulted in significantly less motion than the hip contact force alone when simulating stair climbing.

Conclusions

The anterior-posterior component of the hip contact load has a significant effect on the axial motion of the stem relative to the bone. Inclusion of the abductor force had a stabilizing effect on the implant motion when simulating stair climbing.