Performance of Bore-Cone Taper Junctions on Explanted Total Knee Replacements with Modular Stem Extensions: Mechanical Disassembly and Corrosion Analysis of Two Designs

  • Pooja Panigrahi
  • Kyle Snethen
  • Kevin G. Schwartzman
  • Jorg Lützner
  • Melinda K. HarmanEmail author


The purpose of this retrieval study was to evaluate bore-cone taper junctions of total knee replacements (TKR) designed with modular stem extensions. Thirty eight explanted modular components from either of two manufacturer’s designs were included. Key design differences for the included TKR were the orientation of the bore-cone taper junctions (bore located on the component versus bore located on the modular stem) and the use of similar or mixed metal combinations at the taper junction. The forces necessary to disassemble the modular stems at the bore-cone taper junction were measured using controlled mechanical testing. Surface corrosion areas on bore and cone taper surfaces were characterized and measured using photogrammetric and profilometric techniques. Taper design (p = 0.0047), evidence of fretting (p = 0.0001), lower disassembly force (ρ = −0.601, p = 0.001), and anterior/posterior location (p = 0.016) were associated with higher surface corrosion areas; however, it should be noted that the taper design, evidence of fretting, and disassembly force variables were not independent from one another. The results from this study confirmed that large amounts of taper corrosion can be present in failed TKRs with modular stem extensions.


Orthopedics Biomaterials In vivo Total knee replacement Modularity Morse taper Bore-cone taper junction Modular stem Titanium alloy Cobalt chromium alloy Corrosion Fretting Mechanical testing Implant retrieval 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pooja Panigrahi
    • 1
  • Kyle Snethen
    • 1
  • Kevin G. Schwartzman
    • 1
  • Jorg Lützner
    • 2
  • Melinda K. Harman
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Bioengineering DepartmentClemson UniversityClemsonUSA
  2. 2.Orthopedic and Trauma Surgery DepartmentUniversity Hospital Carl Gustav CarusDresdenGermany

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