Modular hip implants are at risk of fretting-induced postoperative complications most likely initiated by micromotion between adjacent implant components. A stable fixation between ball head and stem-neck taper is critical to avoid excessive interface motions. Therefore, the aim of this study was to identify the effect of trunnion roughness and length on the modular taper strength under typical intraoperative assembly forces. Custom-made Titanium trunnions (standard/mini taper, smooth/grooved surface finish) were assembled with modular Cobalt-chromium heads by impaction with peak forces ranging from 2kN to 6kN. After each assembly process these were disassembled with a materials testing machine to detect the pull-off force as a measure for the taper strength. As expected, the pull-off forces increased with rising peak assembly force (p < 0.001). For low and moderate assembly forces, smooth standard tapers offered higher pull-off forces compared to grooved tapers (p < 0.038). In the case of an assembly force of 2kN, mini tapers showed a higher taper strength than standard ones (p=0.037). The results of this study showed that smooth tapers provided a higher strength for taper junctions. This higher taper strength may reduce the risk of fretting-related complications especially in the most common range of intraoperative assembly forces.
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- Department of Mechanical Engineering - Professor
- Centre for Therapeutic Innovation
- Centre for Bioengineering & Biomedical Technologies (CBio)
Person: Research & Teaching, Core staff