The damping effect of cement as a potential mitigation factor of squeaking in ceramic-on-ceramic total hip arthroplastyF. J. Burgo, D. E. Mengelle, A. Ozols, C. Fernandez, C. M. Autorino
Studies reporting specifically on squeaking in total hip arthroplasty have focused on cementless, and not on hybrid, fixation. We hypothesised that the cement mantle of the femur might have a damping effect on the sound transmitted through the metal stem. The objective of this study was to test the effect of cement on sound propagation along different stem designs and under different fixation conditions.
An in vitro model for sound detection, composed of a mechanical suspension structure and a sound-registering electronic assembly, was designed. A pulse of sound in the audible range was propagated along bare stems and stems implanted in cadaveric bone femurs with and without cement. Two stems of different alloy and geometry were compared.
The magnitudes of the maximum amplitudes of the bare stem were in the range of 10.8 V to 11.8 V, whereas the amplitudes for the same stems with a cement mantle in a cadaveric bone decreased to 0.3 V to 0.7 V, implying a pulse-attenuation efficiency of greater than 97%. The same magnitude is close to 40% when the comparison is made against stems implanted in cadaveric bone femurs without cement.
The in vitro model presented here has shown that the cement had a remarkable effect on sound attenuation and a strong energy absorption in cement mantle and bone. The visco-elastic properties of cement can contribute to the dissipation of vibro-acoustic energy, thus preventing hip prostheses from squeaking. This could explain, at least in part, the lack of reports of squeaking when hybrid fixation is used.