Effect of different motor tasks on hip cup primary stability and on the strains in the periacetabular bone: An in vitro study

Federico Morosato, Francesco Traina, Luca Cristofolini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Excessive prosthesis/bone motions and the bone strains around the acetabulum may prevent osteointegration and lead to cup loosening. These two factors depend on post-operative joint loading. We investigated how Walking (which is often simulated) and Standing-Up from seated (possibly more critical) influence the cup primary stability and periacetabular strains.

METHODS: Twelve composite hemipelvises were used in two test campaigns. Simplified loading conditions were adopted to simulate Walking and Standing-Up. For each motor task, a single-direction force was applied in load packages of increasing amplitude. Stable and unstable uncemented cups were implanted. Digital image correlation was used to measure implant/bone motions (three-dimensional translations and rotations, both permanent and inducible), and the strain distribution around the acetabulum.

FINDINGS: When stable implants were tested, higher permanent cranial translations were found during Walking (however the resultant migrations were comparable with Standing-Up); higher rotations were found for Standing-Up. When unstable implants were tested, motions were 1-2 order of magnitude higher. Strains increased significantly from stable to unstable implants. The peak strains were in the superior aspect of the acetabulum during Walking and in the superior-posterior aspect of the acetabulum and at the bottom of the posterior column during Standing-Up.

INTERPRETATION: Different cup migration trends were caused by simulated Walking and Standing-Up, both similar to those observed clinically. The cup mobilization pattern depended on the different simulated motor tasks. Pre-clinical testing of new uncemented cups could include simulation of both motor tasks. Our study could also translate to indication of what tasks should be avoided.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-145
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Biomechanics
Early online dateAug 14 2019
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019


  • Acetabular hip prosthesis
  • Bone strain
  • Digital image correlation
  • Level walking
  • Primary implant stability
  • Standing up


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