An in vitro model for fluid pressurization of screw holes in metal-backed total joint components

Steven M. Kurtz, Timothy P. Harrigan, Michael Herr, Michael T. Manley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Fluid pressure may stimulate osteolysis near screw holes in joint arthroplasty components. We developed a generalized in vitro model of a polyethylene liner and metal backing with a screw hole to investigate whether implant design factors influence local fluid pressure. We observed an order of magnitude of variation in the peak screw hole pressure (from 16.0 and 163 kPa) under clinically relevant loading conditions. Of the implant factors investigated, the surface finish of the metallic base plate had the greatest effect on peak screw hole fluid pressures; the thickness of the polyethylene liner, as well as the gap between the liner and the base plate, were also significant design variables. Our data suggest that unpolished metal base plates, thick polyethylene liners, and tight conformity between the liner and the metal base plate will all contribute to significantly reduced peak screw hole fluid pressures in joint arthroplasty.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)932-938
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Arthroplasty
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Conformity
  • Fluid pressure
  • Implant design
  • Osteolysis
  • Surface finish
  • Thickness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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