Hydroxyapatite ceramic coating for bone implant fixation. Mechanical and histological studies in dogs

K Søballe
Acta Orthopaedica Scandinavica. Supplementum 1993, 255: 1-58
The success of bone ingrowth into porous coated implants depends on several factors which can be separated into five main groups: implant related factors, such as design of implant, surface structure and pore characteristics. status of host bone bed, such as underlying disease (rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis), available bone stock, use of drugs and surgical technique. mechanical stabilization and loading conditions applied on the implant. adjuvant therapies such as bone grafting and HA coating which might enhance the amount of bone ingrowth. remodeling of periprosthetic bone. Once bone ingrowth has occurred, maintenance of bony anchorage depends on bone remodeling at the interface. The present series of studies were performed in order to investigate the effect of some of these factors on bone ingrowth in relation to hydroxyapatite (HA) and titanium alloy (Ti) coating when subjected to pathological and mechanical conditions mimicking the clinical situation. HA- and Ti-coated implants were inserted into the femoral condyles of mature dogs. The observation period ranged from 4 to 16 weeks, and the results were evaluated by mechanical push-out testing, histomorphometric analysis, polarized light microscopy, UV fluorescence microscopy, collagen analysis and transmission electron microscopy (microanalysis). There were no complications related to the operative procedures and all dogs were terminated according to the original time schedule. Host bone related factors were studied in the initial experiments. First, the effect of a gap between bone and implant was studied and compared with press-fit insertion. The HA-coating yielded superior effect on bone ingrowth compared to Ti in situations where the implant was surrounded by a gap and also where the implants were inserted in press-fit. Gaps of 1 mm and 2 mm around the implant were bridged by bone around HA implants whereas significantly less amounts of bone filled the gap around Ti implants. The gap-healing capacity of bone was increased even at a relatively great distance (400 microns) from the HA surface. This finding indicates that the osteoconductive effect of HA is not limited to the bone forming capacity on the surface of the implant. A positive gradient of newly formed bone was found towards the HA-coating, this gradient not being found towards the Ti-coating. In order to investigate the significance of arthritic bone changes (osteopenia) on fixation of porous coated implants we adopted the Carragheenin-induced gonarthritis model resulting in substantial bone loss as determined by CT-scanning.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

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