Bending stiffness, torsional stability, and insertion force of cementless femoral stems.

Stephen J. Incavo, C. C. Johnson, D. L. Churchill, B. D. Beynnon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


In cementless total hip arthroplasty, increased femoral stem flexibility and decreased fracture propensity are desirable characteristics. The slotting and tapering of the stem have been introduced to achieve this. These features should not, however, be allowed to interfere with the ability of the distal stem to provide initial mechanical stability, especially under rotation. This study was done to investigate the ability of slotted and tapered stem designs to reduce stiffness and insertion force while still maintaining adequate torsional strength. The torsional strength, maximum insertion force, and insertional work of straight, slotted, and taper stems were measured by inserting each type into rigid polyurethane foam and torque testing to failure. Bending stiffness of each stem design was calculated using numerical methods. When compared to a straight stem, a unislot stem has similar torsional strength, maximum insertional force, and work of insertion. The bending stiffness is decreased by 19% to 82% depending on the bending direction. A trislot design decreased torque strength by 29%, maximal insertion force by 36%, and work by 11%. Bending stiffness was decreased by 74% and was not dependent on bending direction. A 0.5-mm taper decreased torque strength by 11% and insertional work by 14%. No difference was seen in maximum insertional force. We conclude that the design features studied (slots and taper) are effective in decreasing stem stiffness and reducing fracture propensity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)323-327
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican journal of orthopedics (Belle Mead, N.J.)
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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