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Proc Inst Mech Eng H. 2012 Dec;226(12):927-38. doi: 10.1177/0954411912450959. Epub 2012 Jul 3.

A probabilistic modelling scheme for analysis of long-term failure of cemented femoral joint replacements.

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  • 1AnyBody Technology A/S, Denmark.


Reliable prediction of long-term medical device performance using computer simulation requires consideration of variability in surgical procedure, as well as patient-specific factors. However, even deterministic simulation of long-term failure processes for such devices is time and resource consuming so that including variability can lead to excessive time to achieve useful predictions. This study investigates the use of an accelerated probabilistic framework for predicting the likely performance envelope of a device and applies it to femoral prosthesis loosening in cemented hip arthroplasty. A creep and fatigue damage failure model for bone cement, in conjunction with an interfacial fatigue model for the implant-cement interface, was used to simulate loosening of a prosthesis within a cement mantle. A deterministic set of trial simulations was used to account for variability of a set of surgical and patient factors, and a response surface method was used to perform and accelerate a Monte Carlo simulation to achieve an estimate of the likely range of prosthesis loosening. The proposed framework was used to conceptually investigate the influence of prosthesis selection and surgical placement on prosthesis migration. Results demonstrate that the response surface method is capable of dramatically reducing the time to achieve convergence in mean and variance of predicted response variables. A critical requirement for realistic predictions is the size and quality of the initial training dataset used to generate the response surface and further work is required to determine the recommendations for a minimum number of initial trials. Results of this conceptual application predicted that loosening was sensitive to the implant size and femoral width. Furthermore, different rankings of implant performance were predicted when only individual simulations (e.g. an average condition) were used to rank implants, compared with when stochastic simulations were used. In conclusion, the proposed framework provides a viable approach to predicting realistic ranges of loosening behaviour for orthopaedic implants in reduced timeframes compared with conventional Monte Carlo simulations.


Hip replacement; cemented hip replacement; hip replacement failure; probabilistic modelling; stochastic modelling; stochastic versus deterministic

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