Acrylic fragmentation in total hip replacements and its biological consequences.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Loosening of total joint prostheses is in part related to the fragmentation of the acrylic cement mantle surrounding the prosthesis and the biologic consequences to the particulate acrylic. Fractographic studies of femoral cement mantles retrieved at revision surgery and autopsy showed frequent fractures in varying stages of development in the cement and wear at the fracture surfaces. Defects in the cement mantle, thin mantles, sharp corners on the prosthesis, separation at the cement mantle interface, and pores in the cement were frequently associated with cement fractures. The progressive fractures and wear led to the liberation of particulate acrylic debris into the surrounding tissues. The tissues at the bone-cement interface removed at revision surgery showed that a macrophage, giant-cell foreign-body granulomatous reaction occurs in response to the particulate, but not bulk cement. This tissue can produce a variety of chemical mediators of inflammation and bone resorption, and can resorb bone in organ cultures. A granulomatous tissue reaction with a very similar appearance can be produced in experimental animals using particulate-form polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA), but not the bulk form of PMMA. The tissue reaction is not mediated by the classic cell or humeral immune mechanisms. Subcutaneous injection of particulate PMMA powder into fully immunocompetent C3Hf/SED mice as well as three strains of mice with progressive immunologic deficiencies (nude/nude, SCID, and triple deficient Nu-bg-XID/SED mice) led to a foreign-body reaction in all strains at five weeks as shown by histologic and immunohistochemical examination despite the differences in immune deficiency. This, along with the scarcity of lymphocytes in the human tissues, suggests that the biologic reactions to fragmented cement can be produced and sustained by nonimmune phagocytosis and activation by macrophages and giant cells without significant contribution by the immune system.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Jasty, M; Jiranek, W; Harris, WH

Published Date

  • December 1992

Published In

Start / End Page

  • 116 - 128

PubMed ID

  • 1446427

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0009-921X


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States