The question whether thin cement mantles around cemented femoral components led to an increased frequency of cracks in the cement was asked. Microscopically, multiple cross sections of eight femurs retrieved at autopsy from clinically successful total hip replacements after prolonged in vivo service containing well fixed Harris Design 2 cemented femoral components were studied. None of the components were loose by radiographic criteria. All were fixed solidly when loaded in vitro in simulated stair climbing and gait, as assessed by high resolution micromotion sensors. The specimens were sectioned transversely at 5-mm increments. The cross sections were examined under a dissecting microscope at x 100. A thin mantle arbitrarily was defined as a mantle of less than 1 mm in thickness. The analysis of the contact radiographs showed that the routine anteroposterior and lateral radiographs underestimated the prevalence of thin cement mantles and mantle defects. Although overall on all the cross sections 9% of the aggregated cement mantles was classified as having thin cement, 92 of the 101 cement cracks occurred in areas of the mantles that were less than 1 mm thick.
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View details for PubMedID 9917592