Influence of material coupling and assembly condition on the magnitude of micromotion at the stem-neck interface of a modular hip endoprosthesis.
- PubMed: 21531416
Hip prostheses with a modular neck exhibit, compared to monobloc prostheses, an additional interface which bears the risk of fretting as well as corrosion. Failures at the neck adapter of modular prostheses have been observed for a number of different designs. It has been speculated that micromotions at the stem-neck interface were responsible for these implant failures. The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of material combinations and assembly conditions on the magnitude of micromotions at the stem-neck interface during cyclic loading. Modular (n = 24) and monobloc (n = 3) hip prostheses of a similar design (Metha, Aesculap AG, Tuttlingen, Germany) were subjected to mechanical testing according to ISO 7206-4 (F(min) = 230N, F(max) = 2300N, f = 1Hz, n = 10,000 cycles). The neck adapters (Ti-6Al-4V or Co-Cr29-Mo alloy) were assembled with a clean or contaminated interface. The micromotion between stem and neck adapter was calculated at five reference points based on the measurements of the three eddy current sensors. The largest micromotions were observed at the lateral edge of the stem-neck taper connection, which is in accordance with the crack location of clinically failed prostheses. Titanium neck adapters showed significantly larger micromotions than cobalt-chromium neck adapters (p = 0.005). Contaminated interfaces also exhibited significantly larger micromotions (p < 0.001). Since excessive micromotions at the stem-neck interface might be involved in the process of implant failure, special care should be taken to clean the interface prior to assembly and titanium neck adapters with titanium stems should generally be used with caution.