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8th Combined Meeting Of Orthopaedic Research Societies (CORS)


Summary Statement

Proximal femoral bony deficits present a surgical and biomechanical challenge to implant longevity in revision hip arthroplasty. This work finds comparable primary stability when a distally fixing tapered fluted stem was compared with a conical design in cadaveric tests.


Proximal bony deficits complicate revision hip surgery and compromise implant survival. Longer distally fixing stems which bypass such defects are therefore required to achieve stability compatible with bony ingrowth and implant longevity.


It is hypothesised that a tapered stem will provide superior rotational stability to a conical design. This work therefore aims to compare the primary stability and biomechanical properties of a new design of tapered fluted modular femoral stem (Redapt®, Smith & Nephew) with that of a conical fluted stem (Restoration®, Stryker).

Materials & Methods

7 Pairs of cadaveric femora were obtained according to strict inclusion/exclusion criteria. Each underwent dual energy x-ray absorptiometry and calibration plain-film radiographs were taken. Digital templating was performed using TraumaCad (Voyant Health, Brainlab) to determine implant sizing. Both stems are fluted, modular and manufactured from titanium. The control stem (Restoration) featured a straight conical design and the investigation stem (Redapt) a straight tapered design. Implantation was performed by a revision arthroplasty surgeon familiar with both systems. Proximal bone deficiency was reproduced using an extended trochanteric osteotomy with removal of metaphyseal bone before reattaching the osteotomy. Primary stability in the axial, sagittal and coronal planes was assessed using micromotion transducers (HBM, Darmstadt, Germany) and also by Radiostereometric Analysis (RSA). RSA employs simultaneous biplanar radiographs to measure relative movement. Two 1mm tantalum beads were mounted on the prosthesis with the centre of the femoral head taken as the third reference point. Beads were placed proximally in the surrounding bone as rigid body markers. Each bone was potted according to the ISO standard for fatigue testing and cyclically loaded at 1Hz for at least 3 increments (750–350N, 1000–350N, 1500–350N) for 1000 cycles. RSA radiographs were taken at baseline and on completion of each cycle. A strain analysis was concurrently performed using a PhotoStress® (Vishay Precision Group, Raleigh, USA) photoelastic coating on the medial femoral cortex. Each bone was loaded intact and then with the prosthesis in-situ at 500N increments until strain fringes were identified. Once testing was completed, the stems were sectioned at the femoral isthmus and data is presented on the cross-sectional fit and fill observed.


Both stem designs showed comparable primary stability with all stems achieving clinically acceptable micromotion (<150 μm) when loaded at body weight. A larger proportion of the control stems remained stable as loading increased to x2-3 body weight. Transducer-recorded migration appeared greatest in the axial plane (y axis) with negligible distal movement in the coronal or sagittal planes. Point motion analysis (RSA) indicated most movement to be in the coronal plane (x-axis) whereas segment motion analysis showed rotation about the long axis of the prosthesis to be largest. Photoelastic strain patterns were transferred more distally in both designs, however substantial stress shielding was also observed.


Both designs achieved adequate distal fixation and primary stability under representative clinical loading conditions. This work supports the continued use of this novel stem design for revision surgery in the presence of extensive proximal bone loss.