Bending Stiffness in Cadaveric and Composite Long Bones Following Total Joint Replacement
Several biomechanics studies have utilized commercially available replicate bone models as an alternative to cadaveric tissue specimens, in part due to their ease of handling and reduced expense. In an effort to validate the use of replicate bone specimens in biomechanics research, a number of studies have compared material properties of whole tibia and femur specimens to those of similar cadaveric specimens. Many of these validation studies have ascertained that the material properties of whole bone composite models fall within the range of those properties of cadaveric specimens, while offering reduced interspecimen variability. Current literature lacks, however, the direct comparison between cadaveric and composite specimens after the implantation of joint replacement components. Because of this, the interactions between orthopaedic implant and replicate bone model, and how those interactions compare with those between implants and cadaveric tissue, are relatively unknown. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the use of composite femur specimens in test scenarios aside from the whole-bone instances currently evaluated in the literature. Six cadaveric and six composite tibias and femurs were tested at different stages of surgical intervention. Flexural rigidity was measured using a 4-point bending test as a whole bone, after unicompartimental cut and implantation (UKA), and after total knee cut and implantation (TKA) or total hip arthroplasty (THA). The data did not show a definite trend between tests and specimens but is conclusive enough to use composite models for cadaveric specimens.