© 2012 Orthopaedic Research Society. Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Orthop Res 30:1147–1154, 2012

Toward a more realistic prediction of peri‐prosthetic micromotions

Bas van der Ploeg Maria Tarala Jasper Homminga Dennis Janssen Pieter Buma Nico Verdonschot

The finite element (FE) method has become a common tool to evaluate peri‐prosthetic micromotions in cementless total hip arthroplasty. Often, only the peak joint load and a selected number of muscle loads are applied to determine micromotions. Furthermore, the applied external constraints are simplified (diaphyseal fixation), resulting in a non‐physiological situation. In this study, a scaled musculoskeletal model was used to extract a full set of muscle and hip joint loads occurring during a walking cycle. These loads were applied incrementally to an FE model to analyze micromotions. The relation between micromotions and external loads was investigated, and how micromotions during a full loading cycle compared to those calculated when applying a peak load only. Finally, the effect of external constraints was analyzed (full model vs. diaphyseal fixation and reduced number of muscle loads). Relatively large micromotions were found during the swing phase when the hip joint forces were relatively low. Maximal micromotions, however, did concur with the peak hip joint force. Applying only a peak joint force resulted in peak micromotions similar to those found when full walking cycle loads were applied. The magnitude and direction of the micromotions depended on the applied muscle loads, but not on external constraints.

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