Four uncemented Symax hip stems were extracted at three weeks and nine, 13 and 32 months, respectively, for reasons other than loosening. The reasons for implant removal were infection in two cases, recurrent dislocation in one and acetabular fracture in one. They were analysed to assess the effect and behaviour of an electrochemically deposited, completely resorbable biomimetic BONIT-hydroxyapatite (HA) coating (proximal part) and a DOTIZE surface treatment (distal part) using qualitative histology, quantitative histomorphometry and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Early and direct bone-implant bonding with signs of active remodelling of bone and the HA coating were demonstrated by histology and SEM. No loose BONIT-HA particles or delamination of the coating were observed, and there was no inflammation or fibrous interposition at the interface.
Histomorphometry showed bone-implant contact varying between 26.5% at three weeks and 83.5% at 13 months at the HA-coated implant surface. The bone density in the area of investigation was between 24.6% at three weeks and 41.1% at 32 months. The DOTIZE surface treatment of the distal part of the stem completely prevented tissue and bone apposition in all cases, thereby optimising proximal stress transfer.
The overall features of this implant, in terms of geometry and surface texture, suggest a mechanically stable design with a highly active biomimetic coating, resulting in rapid and extensive osseo-integration, exclusively in the metaphyseal part of the stem. Early remodelling of the HA coating does not seem to have a detrimental effect on short-term bone-implant coupling. There were no adverse effects identified from either the BONIT-HA coating or the DOTIZE surface treatment.