Three-Dimensional Analysis of the Cement Mantle in Total Hip Arthroplasty
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Cemented fixation of the femoral stem is the gold standard for patients older than 60 years. The importance of reliably achieving an adequate cement mantle has been shown in many studies. Currently, inspection and grading of plain radiographs is the accepted method for study of the cement mantle. However, the reliability of plain radiographs for this purpose has been questioned. In addition, the interobserver agreement of current grading systems has been shown to be limited. A new in vitro method of cement mantle analysis is described. Plastic replicas of six contemporary stems were implanted into femurs from cadavers. The specimens were imaged with a computed tomography scanner. Detailed, computer-assisted analysis of mantle thickness was done. Comparisons were made between designs. A subset was compared with standard radiographs. Plain radiographs overestimated thickness and underestimated the deficiencies. There was significant variability in the mantle produced by the different designs. Commonly used designs had deficiencies in their mantles by standard criteria despite proper surgical technique. The importance of being fully acquainted with the particular implant one uses is emphasized by these results. This is a valuable technique for investigation of the effects on the cement mantle of implant design, surgical technique, and patient anatomy.
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