What is the Optimum Pattern of Pressurization to gain Maximum Penetration of Methylmethacrylate Cement into the Reamed Acetabulum?

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The cemented polyethylene cup has remained the standard acetabular implant for 50 years although there has been little research into cementing techniques. In the past, cement was previously inserted by sequential manual pressurisation (thumbing) but this technique was prone to contamination of the cement leading to weakening of fixation. In recent times, third-generation techniques using sealed pressurisation with rim preparation have been espoused with similar results. We were interested in establishing whether repeated cycles of compression of cement allowing adequate time for relaxation increases its depth of penetration, and the optimum period of relaxation required to achieve this goal.

A single mix of polymethylmethacrylate cement at dough stage was inserted into a model of the reamed acetabulum. Cyclical pressurisation of the cement with 50 N followed nine different patterns to simulate thumbing, constant pressure, and the application of a sealed and unsealed acetabular cup implant.

A constant load was as effective as all variations of repeated cycles of load and relaxation except for 50 N pressure applied for four seconds with four second intervals. A four second interval of relaxation achieved significantly more penetration than five or three seconds.

Following two minutes of constant pressure, the application of a sealed or unsealed thrust of the plunger had no effect on cement penetration.

This study suggests that optimal polymethylmethacrylate cement penetration into the acetabulum occurs with cycled application of load for four seconds followed by four seconds of relaxation. The subsequent pressurisation with either a flanged or unflanged acetabular implant does not appear to improve cement penetration.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e6654
Issue number1
Early online date14 Jan 2020
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jan 2020

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2020, Rocos et al.


  • hips
  • cement
  • arthroplasty

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