Biomechanical evaluation of bone-cement augmented Proximal Femoral Nail Antirotation blades in a polyurethane foam model with low density

A Sermon, V Boner, K Schwieger, A Boger, S Boonen, P Broos, G Richards, M Windolf
Clinical Biomechanics 2012, 27 (1): 71-6

BACKGROUND: Helically shaped cephalic implants have proven their benefit to provide an improved stabilization of unstable hip fractures. However, cut out ratios up to 3.6% still occur. This in vitro study evaluated the biomechanical performance of a novel cement augmentation technique of the Proximal Femoral Nail Antirotation in surrogate femora.

METHODS: Four study groups were formed out of 24 polyurethane foam specimens with low density. Proximal Femoral Nail Antirotation blades were implanted, either non-augmented, or augmented using 3ml of injectable Polymethylmethacrylate bone-cement. The influence of implant mal-positioning was investigated by placing the blade either centered in the femoral head or off-centric in an anteroposterior direction. All specimens underwent cyclic loading under physiological conditions. Starting at 1000 N, the load was monotonically increased by 0.1N/cycle until construct failure. Movement of the head was identified by means of optical motion tracking. Non-parametric test statistics were carried out on the cycles to failure, to compare between study groups.

FINDINGS: Compared to control samples; augmented samples showed a significantly increased number of cycles to failure (P=0.012). In the groups with centric position of the Proximal Femoral Nail Antirotation blade, cement augmentation led to an increase in loading cycles of 225%. In the groups with off-centric positioning of the blade, this difference was even more accentuated (933%).

INTERPRETATION: Cement augmentation of the Proximal Femoral Nail Antirotation blade with small amounts of bone-cement for treatment of osteoporotic hip fractures clearly enhances fixation stability and carries high potential for clinical application.

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