Failure Mode Analysis of an Exeter Stem Fracture Initiated at the Introducer Hole: Time for a Design Change?

Ralph M Jeuken*, Duncan P Fransz, Marc G D Geers, Marc P F H L van Maris, René H M Ten Broeke

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The fracturing of a hip prosthesis stem at its neck, in the absence of a trauma, is an extremely rare but serious adverse event. The patient in our case was young, active, and tall, thereby putting high mechanical loads on the prosthesis. Radiographs of the initial procedure and blood and synovium analysis showed no abnormalities. Analysis of the stem revealed niobium-rich precipitates, that is, alloy artifacts, at the introducer stud hole. The mechanically vulnerable location of the introducer stud hole, combined with alloy artifacts at that location and high mechanical stress, ultimately led to failure of the prosthesis. As younger and heavier patients will demand hip arthroplasty in the future, simple stem design adaptations should be considered to prevent stem fractures at the introducer stud hole.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)196-204
Number of pages9
JournalArthroplasty Today
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021

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