Do capsular pressure and implant motion interact to cause high pressure in the periprosthetic bone in total hip replacement?

Hamidreza Alidousti, Mark Taylor, Neil Bresslof

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    14 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    When there is a debonding at the bone-implant interface, the difference in stiffness between the implant and the bone can result in micromotion, allowing existing gaps to open further or new gaps to be created during physiological loading. It has been suggested that periprosthetic fluid flow and high pressure may play an important role in osteolysis development in the proximity of these gaps. To explain this phenomenon, the concepts of effective joint space and pumping stem have been cited in many studies. However, there is no clear understanding of the factors causing, or contributing to, these mechanisms. It is likely that capsular pressure, gap dimensions, and micromotion of the gap during cyclic loading of an implant can play a defining role in inducing periprosthetic flow. In order to obtain a better understanding of the main influences on periprosthetic flows and the development of osteolysis, steady state and transient 2D computational fluid dynamic simulations were performed for the joint capsule of the lateral side of a stem-femur system, and a gap in communication with the capsule and the surrounding bone. It was shown that high capsular pressure may be the main driving force for high fluid pressure and flow in the bone surrounding the gap, while micromotion of only very long and narrow gaps can cause significant pressure and flow in the bone. At low capsular pressure, micromotion induced large flows in the gap region; however, the flow in the bone tissue was almost unaffected. The results also revealed the existence of high velocity spikes in the bone region at the bottom of the gap. These velocity spikes can exert excessive fluid shear stress on the bone cells and disturb the local biological balance of the surrounding interstitial fluid which can result in osteolysis development. High capsular pressure was observed to be the main cause of these velocity spikes whereas, at low capsular pressure, gap micromotion of only very long and narrow gaps generated significant velocity spikes in the bone at the bottom of the gaps.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number121001
    Pages (from-to)121001
    Number of pages10
    JournalJournal of Biomechanical Engineering
    Volume133
    Issue number12
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2011

    Keywords

    • aseptic loosening
    • capsular pressure
    • interface gaps
    • micromotion
    • osteolysis
    • periprosthetic fluid flow
    • Total hip replacement (THR)

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