The effect of different interference fits on the primary fixation of a cementless femoral component during experimental testing

Esther Sanchez*, Christoph Schilling, Thomas M. Grupp, Alexander Giurea, Caroline Wyers, Joop van den Bergh, Nico Verdonschot, Dennis Janssen

*Corresponding author for this work

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Cementless femoral total knee arthroplasty (TKA) components use a press-fit (referred to as interference fit) to achieve initial fixation. A higher interference fit could lead to a superior fixation, but it could also introduce more damage to the bone during implantation. The purpose of the current study was to investigate the effect of interference fit on the micromotions and gap opening/closing at the bone-implant interface. Experimental tests were performed in six pairs of cadaveric femurs implanted with femoral components using a low interference fit of 350 mu m and a high interference fit of 700 mu m. The specimens were subjected to the peak loads of gait and squat, based on the Orthoload dataset. Digital Image Correlation (DIC) was used to measure the micromotions and opening/closing in different regions of interest (ROIs). Two linear mixed-effect statistical models were created with micromotions and gap opening/closing as dependent variables. ROIs, loading conditions, and implant designs as independent variables, and cadaver specimens as random intercepts. The results revealed no significant difference between the two interference fit implants for micromotions (p = 0.837 for gait and p = 0.065 for squat), nor for the gap opening/closing (p = 0.748 for gait and p = 0.561 for squat). In contrast, significant differences were found between loading and most of the ROIs in both dependent variables (p <0.0001). Additionally, no difference in bone deformation was found between low and high interference fit. Changing interference between either 350 mu m or 700 mu m did not affect the primary stability of a femoral TKA component. There could be an interference fit threshold beyond which fixation does not further improve.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104189
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the mechanical behavior of biomedical materials
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021


  • Interference fit
  • Cementless fixation
  • Micromotion
  • Interfacial gap
  • Digital image correlation
  • Bone deformation

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