A new technique to measure micromotion distribution around a cementless femoral stem
The interfacial micromotion is closely associated to the long-term success of cementless hip prostheses. Various techniques have been proposed to measure them, but only a few number of points over the stem surface can be measured simultaneously. In this paper, we propose a new technique based on micro Computer Tomography (μCT) to measure locally the relative interfacial micromotions between the metallic stem and the surrounding femoral bone. Tantalum beads were stuck at the stem surface and spread at the endosteal surface. Relative micromotions between the stem and the endosteal bone surfaces were measured at different loading amplitudes. The estimated error was 10 μm and the maximal micromotion was 60 μm, in the loading direction, at 1400 N. This pilot study provided a local measurement of the micromotions in the 3 direction and at 8 locations on the stem surface simultaneously. This technique could be easily extended to higher loads and a much larger number of points, covering the entire stem surface and providing a quasi-continuous distribution of the 3D interfacial micromotions around the stem. The new measurement method would be very useful to compare the induced micromotions of different stem designs and to optimize the primary stability of cementless total hip arthroplasty.