The relationship between cement fatigue damage and implant surface finish in proximal femoral prostheses

Alex Lennon, B.A.O. McCormack, P.J. Prendergast

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Citations (Scopus)


The majority of cemented femoral hip replacements fail as a consequence of loosening. One design feature that may affect loosening rates is implant surface finish. To determine whether or not surface finish effects fatigue damage accumulation in a bone cement mantle, we developed an experimental model of the implanted proximal femur that allows visualisation of damage growth in the cement layer. Five matt surface and five polished surface stems were tested. Pre-load damage and damage after two million cycles was measured. Levels of pre-load (shrinkage) damage were the same for both matt and polished stems; furthermore damage for matt vs. polished stems was not significantly different after two million cycles. This was due to the large variability in damage accumulation rates. Finite element analysis showed that the stress is higher for the polished (assumed debonded) stem, and therefore we must conclude that either the magnitude of the stress increase is not enough to appreciably increase the damage accumulation rate or, alternatively, the polished stem does not debond immediately from the cement. Significantly (P = 0.05) more damage was initiated in the lateral cement compared to the medial cement for both kinds of surface finish. It was concluded that, despite the higher cement stresses with debonded stems, polished prostheses do not provoke the damage accumulation failure scenario. (C) 2003 IPEM. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)833-841
Number of pages9
JournalMedical Engineering and Physics
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Psychology(all)

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