Biomechanical evaluation of a new augmentation method for enhanced screw fixation in osteoporotic proximal femoral fractures

P von der Linden, A Gisep, V Boner, M Windolf, A Appelt, N Suhm
Journal of Orthopaedic Research: Official Publication of the Orthopaedic Research Society 2006, 24 (12): 2230-7
A biomechanical investigation on eight pairs of human cadaver proximal femurs was performed to evaluate the impact of a new augmentation method on the internal fixation of osteoporotic proximal femur fractures. The study focused on enhancing implant purchase to reduce the incidence of implant cut-out in osteoporotic bone. In a left-right comparison, a conventional hip screw fixation (control) was compared to the new cement augmentation method. After bone bed preparation through high pressure irrigation to remove fat, blood, and bone debris, the bones were augmented with low viscosity polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) cement. Step-wise fatigue testing was performed by cyclically loading the femoral heads in a physiological manner, beginning at 1,500 N and increasing 500 N every 5,000 cycles to 4,000 N, and continuously monitoring head displacement. Failure was defined as >5.0 mm head displacement. The head displacement at 2,000 N was significantly smaller (p=0.018) for the augmented group as compared to the conventionally treated bones (0.09+/-0.01 mm vs. 0.90+/-0.32 mm; mean+/-SEM). The displacement rate at the second load step was significantly higher (p=0.018) for the conventionally treated bones as compared to the augmented ones. All of the nonaugmented specimens failed during testing, where 50% of the augmented specimens did not fail. The promising results of these experiments suggest that this new standardized irrigation/augmentation method enhances the implant anchorage and offers a potential solution to the problem of implant cut-out in osteoporotic metaphyseal bone.

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