Journal of Materials Science: Materials in Medicine

, Volume 15, Issue 10, pp 1065-1071

First online:

Mechanical characterisation of a bone defect model filled with ceramic cements

  • A. GisepAffiliated withAO Research Institute
  • , S. KuglerAffiliated withZürcher Hochschule Winterthur
  • , D. WahlAffiliated withAO Research Institute
  • , B. RahnAffiliated withAO Research Institute

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Ceramic bone substitute materials are often used to fill defects in comminuted articular fractures. In an in vivo study [1], calcium phosphate cements have been injected into highly loaded slot defects in the proximal tibial metaphysis. During healing, cracks were formed mostly in the proximal anterior aspect of the implanted cement and wedge-like gaps formed between the tibial plateau and the cement. Mechanical ex vivo tests were done to investigate the mechanical competence of the bone cement in such a defect situation. Entirely filled defects were loaded with up to 4.5 kN until they failed. Cyclic loading of the proximal tibiae caused micro fragmentation of the cement after 1000 cycles at 1.5–2.0 kN load. This aspect was comparable to cement fragmentation observed in vivo. Large defects in highly loaded areas should therefore additionally be stabilised with metallic implants. The ceramic cement can only be used as a filler material, which can be replaced by new bone upon resorption.