Bone Joint Res 2020;9(7):386–393.

Impaction technique influences implant stability in low-density bone model

Ruben Doyle, Richard J. van Arkel, Sarah Muirhead-Allwood, Jonathan R. T. Jeffers


Cementless acetabular components rely on press-fit fixation for initial stability. In certain cases, initial stability is more difficult to obtain (such as during revision). No current study evaluates how a surgeon’s impaction technique (mallet mass, mallet velocity, and number of strikes) may affect component fixation. This study seeks to answer the following research questions: 1) how does impaction technique affect a) bone strain generation and deterioration (and hence implant stability) and b) seating in different density bones?; and 2) can an impaction technique be recommended to minimize risk of implant loosening while ensuring seating of the acetabular component?


A custom drop tower was used to simulate surgical strikes seating acetabular components into synthetic bone. Strike velocity and drop mass were varied. Synthetic bone strain was measured using strain gauges and stability was assessed via push-out tests. Polar gap was measured using optical trackers.


A phenomenon of strain deterioration was identified if an excessive number of strikes was used to seat a component. This effect was most pronounced in low-density bone at high strike velocities. Polar gap was reduced with increasing strike mass and velocity.


A high mallet mass with low strike velocity resulted in satisfactory implant stability and polar gap, while minimizing the risk of losing stability due to over-striking. Extreme caution not to over-strike must be exercised when using high velocity strikes in low-density bone for any mallet mass.

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