The Journal of Arthroplasty , Volume 33 , Issue 7 , S270 - S274

Impaction Force Influences Taper-Trunnion Stability in Total Hip Arthroplasty

Danoff, Jonathan R. et al.


This study investigated the influence of femoral head impaction force, number of head strikes, the energy sequence of head strikes, and head offset on the strength of the taper-trunnion junction.


Thirty titanium-alloy trunnions were mated with 36-mm zero-offset cobalt-chromium femoral heads of corresponding taper angle. A drop tower impacted the head with 2.5J or 8.25J, resulting in 6 kN or 14 kN impaction force, respectively, in a single strike or combinations of 6 kN + 14 kN or 14 kN + 14 kN. In addition, ten 36-mm heads with −5 and +5 offset were impacted with sequential 14 kN + 14 kN strikes. Heads were subsequently disassembled using a screw-driven mechanical testing frame, and peak distraction force was recorded.


Femoral head pull-off force was 45% the strike force, and heads struck with a single 14 kN impact showed a pull-off force twice that of the 6 kN group. Two head strikes with the same force did not improve pull-off force for either 6 kN (P = .90) or 14 kN (P = .90). If the forces of the 2 impactions varied, but either impact measured 14 kN, a 51% higher pull-off force was found compared to impactions of either 6 kN or 6 kN + 6 kN. Femoral head offset did not significantly change the pull-off force among −5, 0, and +5 heads (P = .37).


Femoral head impaction force influenced femoral head trunnion-taper stability, whereas offset did not affect pull-off force. Multiple head strikes did not add additional stability, as long as a single strike achieved 14 kN force at the mallet-head impactor interface. Insufficient impaction force may lead to inadequate engagement of the trunnion-taper junction.

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