Because the properties of bone cement prepared in operating theatres are most relevant to clinical practice, the compressive and shear strength and elasticity of cement retrieved from 77 hip arthroplasties were examined. There were wide variations in the strength of both pure and blood-contaminated cement. However, the weakest specimens were still stronger than the cement-bone interface and the material did not weaken with age. There appear to be few grounds for modifying bone cement unless handling and surgical technique can be standardised.
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