Background: Short-stemmed hip implants were introduced to conserve proximal bone mass and may facilitate the use of minimally invasive surgery, in which smaller incisions limit access to the joint. This limited access may increase the risk of surgical mal-positioning of the implant, however the sensitivity of femoral loading to such mal-positioning of a short-stemmed implant has not been studied. Methods: Finite element models were developed of a femur and a short-stemmed implant positioned to reproduce the intact hip centre, as well as with the implant placed in increased anteversion or offset. The effect of these surgical variables on femoral loading was examined for walking and stair climbing using loads from a validated musculoskeletal model. Results of the implanted models were compared with an intact model to evaluate stress shielding. Findings: Implant position had little influence on cortical strains along the length of the diaphysis, although strains decreased by up to 95% at the neck resection level compared to the intact femur. In the proximal Gruen zones I and VII strain energy density among the implanted models varied by up to 0.4 kJ/m3 (28%) and 0.6 kJ/m3 (24%) under walking and stair climbing, respectively. All implanted models showed characteristic proximal stress shielding, indicated by a decrease in strain energy density of up to 5.4 kJ/m3 (69%) compared to the intact femur. Interpretation: Small changes in stem placement would likely have little influence on the internal loading of the femur after bone ingrowth has been achieved, however a reduction in strain energy density and therefore stress shielding was seen even for a short-stemmed implant, which may have consequences for longer-term bone remodelling.

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Keywords Anteversion, Conservative hip implant, Femoral loading, Finite element, Minimally invasive surgery, Offset
Persistent URL
Journal Clinical Biomechanics
Speirs, A, Heller, M.O. (Markus O.), Taylor, W.R. (William R.), Duda, G.N. (Georg N.), & Perka, C. (Carsten). (2007). Influence of changes in stem positioning on femoral loading after THR using a short-stemmed hip implant. Clinical Biomechanics, 22(4), 431–439. doi:10.1016/j.clinbiomech.2006.12.003