The history of the development of the regular straight stem in hip arthroplasty

EFORT Open Rev. 2023 Jul 3;8(7):548-560. doi: 10.1530/EOR-22-0122.


Since the middle of the 20th century, total hip arthroplasty has become a very successful treatment for all end-stage diseases of the hip joint. Charnley solved with his low frictional torque arthroplasty the problem of wear and friction with the introduction of a new bearing couple and the reduction of the head size, which set the prerequisite for the further development of stem design. This narrative review presents the major developments of regular straight stems in hip arthroplasty. It does not only provide an overview of the history but also assembles the generally scarce documentation available regarding the rationale of developments and illustrates often-unsuspected links. Charnley's success is based on successfully solving the issue of fixation of the prosthetic components to the bone, using bone cement made of polymethyl-methacrylate. In the field of cemented anchorage of the stem, two principles showing good long-term revision rates emerged over the years: the force-closed and the shape-closed principles. The non-cemented anchorage bases on prosthesis models ensure enough primary stability for osteointegration of the implant to occur. For bone to grow onto the surface, not only sufficient primary stability is required but also a suitable surface structure together with a biocompatible prosthetic material is also necessary.

Keywords: development; femoral stem; hip arthroplasty.

Publication types

  • Review