Objectives: Improved fixation techniques with optional use of bone cements for implant augmentation have been developed to enhance stability and reduce complication rates after osteosynthesis of femoral neck fractures. This biomechanical study aimed to evaluate the effect of cement augmentation on implant anchorage and overall performance of screw-anchor fixation systems in unstable femoral neck fractures.
Methods: Ten pairs of human cadaveric femora were used to create standardized femoral neck fractures (Pauwels type 3 fractures; AO/OTA 31-B2) with comminution and were fixed by means of a rotationally stable screw-anchor (RoSA) system. The specimens were assigned pairwise to two groups and either augmented with PMMA-based cement (Group 1, augmented) or left without such augmentation (Group 2, control). Biomechanical testing, simulating physiological loading at four distinct load levels, was performed over 10.000 cycles for each level with the use of a multidimensional force-transducer system. Data was analysed by means of motion tracking.
Results: Stiffness, femoral head rotation, implant migration, femoral neck shortening, and failure load did not differ significantly between the two groups (p ≥ .10). For both groups, the main failure type was dislocation in the frontal plane with consecutive varus collapse). In the cement-augmented specimens, implant migration and femoral neck shortening were significantly dependent on bone mineral density (BMD), with higher values in osteoporotic bones. There was a correlation between failure load and BMD in cement-augmented specimens.
Conclusion: In screw-anchor fixation of unstable femoral neck fractures, bone-cement augmentation seems to show no additional advantages in regard to stiffness, rotational stability, implant migration, resistance to fracture displacement, femoral neck shortening or failure load.
Keywords: Biomechanical testing; Bone cement augmentation; Femoral neck fracture; Rotationally stable screw-anchor.
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