Although knowledge of the clinical status of the implant is important, only instrumented mechanical testing of retrieved specimens provides quantitative assessment of implant fixation. This measurement allows placement of the implant along a continuum of loosening and is the foundation for the interpretation of subsequent findings. Analysis of implants that have been proven to be well fixed by instrumented testing reveals significant differences in the initial events in the loosening of femoral and acetabular components. Although radiolucencies were observed around all of these well-fixed femoral and acetabular components, the histology (and therefore the etiology) of the radiolucency is different and variable on the two sides of the articulation. The majority of femoral radiolucencies appear to be due to age and stress-related remodeling while particulate-induced bone resorption plays an important role in acetabular radiolucencies. A finding common to both sides of the articulation in these stable components, however, was intimate contact of bone with cement without any interposed soft tissue even after 17.5 years of service. Primary incompatibility and/or failure of the cement was not identified as a factor in initiating either femoral or acetabular component loosening. These studies document the long-term compatibility of bone with cement in bulk form. Improvements in cemented femoral component fixation should focus on stem design and cementing technique. Long-term acetabular component fixation can be improved by reduction or elimination of polyethylene wear and optimization of the bone-implant interface.
View details for Web of Science ID A1993KW98700011
View details for PubMedID 8478634