Load-shift--numerical evaluation of a new design philosophy for uncemented hip prostheses.

Journal of biomechanics

PubMedID: 15652559

Goetzen N, Lampe F, Nassut R, Morlock MM. Load-shift--numerical evaluation of a new design philosophy for uncemented hip prostheses. J Biomech. 2005;38(3):595-604.
All hip replacement prostheses alter the load transfer from the hip joint into the femur by changing the mechanical loading of the proximal femur from an externally to an internally loaded system. This alteration of the load transfer causes stress shielding and might lead to severe bone loss, especially with uncemented prostheses. To minimize these effects, load transfer to the femur should occur as proximal as possible. In order to support sufficient primary stability, however, directly post operative (PO) distal stabilization is reasonable. Consequently, the prostheses have to alter its mechanical characteristics after implantation. This concept is referred to as load-shift concept. Primary stability during the early PO state is provided by a prosthesis shaft, which is widened at the tip by a biodegradable pin. After resorption of the pin load transfer occurs no longer distally. The objective of this study was the numerical evaluation of the load-shift concept. The analysis was performed with a finite element model. Three-dimensional non-linear dynamic gait analyses data were used to evaluate whether the load transfer during walking can be altered effectively by insertion and resorption of a distal pin. Directly PO 38% of the transverse load is transferred through the prosthesis shaft and micromotion of the proximal prostheses tip is below 55 microm. After resorption of the pin, no transverse loads are transferred through the prosthesis shaft. Therefore, the loading of the proximal bone tissue is far more pronounced than in the case of a standard prosthesis, demonstrating the feasibility of the load-shift concept. A balanced degradation of the pin simultaneously with the ingrowth of the prosthesis is expected to reduce hip replacement complications.