Tightening force and torque of nonlocking screws in a reverse shoulder prosthesis
Background. Reversed shoulder arthroplasty is an accepted treatment for glenohumeral arthritis associated to rotator cuff deficiency. For most reversed shoulder prostheses, the baseplate of the glenoid component is uncemented and its primary stability is provided by a central peg and peripheral screws. Because of the importance of the primary stability for a good osteo-integration of the baseplate, the optimal fixation of the screws is crucial. In particular, the amplitude of the tightening force of the non-locking screws is clearly associated to this stability. Since this force is unknown, it is currently not accounted for in experimental or numerical analyses. Thus, the primary goal of this work is to measure this tightening force experimentally. In addition, the tightening torque was also measured, to estimate an optimal surgical value. Methods. An experimental setup with an instrumented baseplate was developed to measure simultaneously the tightening force, tightening torque and screwing angle, of the nonlocking screws of the Aquealis reversed prosthesis. In addition, the amount of bone volume around each screw was measured with a micro-CT. Measurements were performed on 6 human cadaveric scapulae. Findings. A statistically correlated relationship (p < 0.05, R = 0.83) was obtained between the maximal tightening force and the bone volume. The relationship between the tightening torque and the bone volume was not statistically significant. Interpretation. The experimental relationship presented in this paper can be used in numerical analyses to improve the baseplate fixation in the glenoid bone.