Objective - To compare an electron beam melting-processed (EBMP) low-modulus titanium alloy mesh stem with a commercial cobalt-chromium (CC) stem in a canine cadaver model. Sample Population - 9 pairs of cadaver femora. Procedures - EBMP stems of 3 sizes were placed in randomly chosen sides of femora (left or right) and CC stems in opposite sides. Stem impaction distances were recorded. Five strain gauges were attached to the femoral surface to record transverse tensile (hoop) strains in the femur during axial loading. Constructs were axially loaded 4 times to 800 N and 4 times to 1,600 N in a materials testing machine. Axial stiffness of constructs and bone surface strains were compared between EBMP and CC constructs. Results - Stems were impacted without creating femoral fissures or fractures. Stem impaction distances were larger for EBMP stems than for CC stems. Mean axial stiffness of EBMP constructs was lower than mean axial stiffness of CC constructs. Subsidence did not differ between groups. Bone strains varied among strain gauge positions and were largest at the distal aspect of the stems. At a load of 1,600 N, bones strains were higher in CC constructs than in EBMP constructs for 2 of 4 medial strain gauges. Conclusions and Clinical Relevance - EBMP stems were successfully impacted and stable and led to a focal decrease in bone strain; this may represent an acceptable option for conventional or custom joint replacement.
ASJC Scopus subject areas