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The effect of operative fit and hydroxyapatite coating on the mechanical and biological response to porous implants
JE Dalton; SD Cook; KA Thomas; JF Kay
J Bone Joint Surg Am, 1995 Jan 01;77(1):97-110
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Abstract

Femoral intramedullary implants were constructed by threading 4.0-millimeter-thick disks with a titanium-alloy (Ti-6Al-4V) porous bead coating onto a two-millimeter-diameter threaded rod. Each porous-coated disk, which was 6.0, 8.0, 9.0, or 10.0 millimeters in diameter, was separated by a two-millimeter-thick acrylic disk with a diameter of ten millimeters. Implants with and without a hydroxyapatite coating of twenty-five micrometers were inserted into fifteen skeletally mature adult mongrel dogs. The femoral canal was sequentially reamed bilaterally to a ten-millimeter diameter, resulting in uniform initial implant-bone interface gaps of 0.0, 0.5, 1.0, and 2.0 millimeters. Each animal received paired hydroxyapatite-coated and uncoated implants. Three animals each were killed at four, eight, twelve, twenty-four, and fifty-two weeks after the implantation. The harvested femora were sectioned through the acrylic spacers, transverse to the long axis, to produce individual push-out test specimens for mechanical testing. Characteristics of interface attachment were determined with test fixtures that supported the surrounding bone to within 150 micrometers of the interface. Histological sections were prepared, and the amount of bone within the porous structure and the amount of the original gap that was filled with new bone were quantified with a computerized video image-analysis system. Mechanical attachment strength and bone ingrowth were found to increase with the time after implantation and with a decrease in the size of the gap. Placement of the implant in proximal (cancellous) compared with distal (cortical) locations had no significant effect on the strength of attachment, bone ingrowth, or gap-filling. However, implants with a large initial gap (1.0 or 2.0 millimeters) demonstrated greater attachment strength in cancellous bone than in cortical bone. With a few exceptions, hydroxyapatite-coated implants with an initial gap of 1.0 millimeter or less demonstrated significantly increased mechanical attachment strength and bone ingrowth at all time-periods. Interface attachment strengths were positively correlated with bone ingrowth, the time after implantation, the use of a hydroxyapatite coating, and decreasing initial gap size. CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Initial implant-bone apposition is thought to be a prerequisite for good biological fixation. This apposition is often not achieved because of the design of the implant or instruments and the operative technique. Poor initial fit during the operation may decrease the longevity of the implant. The results of the present study indicate that attachment strength and bone ingrowth are significantly affected by gaps in the interface, particularly those of more than 1.0 millimeter.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

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    These activities have been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint sponsorship of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
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