Biomechanics of a cemented short stem: Standard vs. line-to-line cementation techniques. A biomechanical in-vitro study involving six osteoporotic pairs of human cadaver femurs

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Background:Short-stem total hip arthroplasty (THA) potentially offers advantages compared to conventional THA, including sparing bone and soft tissue and being a facilitated and less traumatic implantation. However, the indication is limited to patients with sufficient bone quality. Cemented short-stem THA might provide an alternative to conventional cemented THA. To date, no cemented short stem is available on the market.Methods:In the present in vitro study, primary stability of a new cemented short stem was evaluated, comparing standard (undersized stem) versus line-to-line (same-sized stem) cementing techniques, using six pairs of human cadaver femurs.Primary stability, including reversible micromotion and irreversible migration, was assessed in a dynamic material-testing machine. Fracture load was tested and fracture pattern analyzed.Findings:Both cementation techniques (standard vs. line-to-line) displayed comparable results with respect to primary stability without any statistical differences (micromotion: 17.5 μm vs. 9.6 μm (p = 0.063); migration: 9.5 μm vs. 38.2 μm (p = 0.188)). Regarding fracture load, again, no difference was observed (3670 N vs. 3687 N (p = 0.063)). In all cases, proximal fractures of Vancouver type B3 occurred.Interpretation:The present in vitro study demonstrates that the line-to-line cementation technique, which is favourable regarding the philosophy of short stem THA, can be further pursued in the course of the development of a cemented short stem. Further investigations should address how well the cemented short stem compares to well-established cemented straight-stem designs.

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