Primary stability of the Fitmore® stem: biomechanical comparison
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After clinical introduction of the Fitmore® stem (Zimmer), we noticed the formation of cortical hypertrophies in a few cases. We questioned whether (1) the primary stability or (2) load transfer of the Fitmore® stem differs from other stems unassociated with the formation of hypertrophies. We compared the Fitmore® stem to the well-established CLS® stem.
Four Fitmore® and four CLS® stems were implanted in eight synthetic femurs. A cyclic torque around the stem axis and a mediolateral cyclic torque were applied. Micromotions between stems and femurs were measured to classify the specific rotational implant stability and to analyse the bending behaviour of the stem.
No statistical differences were found between the two stem designs with respect to their rotational stability (p = 0.82). For both stems, a proximal fixation was found. However, for the mediolateral bending behavior, we observed a significantly (p < 0.01) higher flexibility of the CLS® stem compared to the Fitmore® stem.
Hip stem implantation may induce remodelling of the periprosthetic bone structure. Considering the proximal fixation of both stems, rotational stability of the Fitmore® stem might not be a plausible explanation for clinically observed formation of hypertrophies. However, bending results support our hypothesis that the CLS® stem presumably closely follows the bending of the bone, whereas the shorter Fitmore® stem acts more rigidly. Stem rigidity and flexibility needs to be considered, as they may influence the load transfer at the implant–bone interface and thus possibly affect bone remodelling processes.
KeywordsCortical hypertrophy Short stem Fitmore® CLS® Primary stability
Conflict of interest
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