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Clin Mater. 1992;10(4):239-42.

Intramedullary fixation with screwed, conical stems--unsolicited results from animal experiments.

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  • 1Institute of Orthopaedics, University of Nijmegen, The Netherlands.


For the purpose of studying bone remodeling around prostheses, a segmental replacement for the goat tibia was designed, using a conical, screw-threaded, hydroxyapatite-coated stem for fixation. Eight goats were provided with the implant, seven of which loosened within 10 days post-operatively, displaying progressive radiolucency and gross rotational motion. The eighth one also loosened radiographically, but developed a stabilizing callus bridge to prevent motion. A second design of similar shape and coating, but lacking the screw threads, was designed and also applied in eight animals. In this case, no loosening occurred in the first 6 weeks post-operatively. It is concluded that the application of screwed intramedullary stems for prosthetic fixation is not a viable concept, because the threads prevent the stem from subsiding and restabilizing when minor initial interface stress-relaxation and remodeling has occurred.

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