Use of high-energy shock waves for bone cement removal

Thomas C. May, William R. Krause, Arthur J. Preslar, M. J. Vernon Smith, Armand J. Beaudoin, John A. Cardea

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The revision rate of total hip arthroplasty has increased dramatically over recent years, leading to different methods of extraction of the femoral cement mantle to reduce operative time and surgical risks. The use of high-energy shock waves produced by the Dornier HM.3 Lithotripter to interrupt the cementbone interface and to reduce the material properties of the cement is investigated. Tests were conducted to measure the pull-out strength of cemented treated rods versus untreated rods, from the medullary canal of canine femurs. The treated femurs showed an average reduction in pull-out strength of 43%. An investigation involving the material properties of acrylic bone cement was also conducted. The properties tested were the compressive modulus of elasticity, the ultimate compressive strength, the ultimate tensile strength, and fracture toughness. The scanning electron microscope aided in determining whether microfractures in the cement resulted from the shock wave treatment. A theoretical study utilizing the finite element method was used to investigate areas of select shock wave treatment about the femoral prosthesis. Analysis of the results showed that the lithotripter treatment had no significant effect on the compressive properties but reduced the tensile properties and fracture toughness significantly. Scanning electron microscopy uncovered definite areas of induced microfractures not present in the control specimens. This study supports the concept of clinically noninvasive, preoperative shock wave treatment prior to total hip revision.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19-27
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Arthroplasty
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes


  • acrylic bone cement (PMMA)
  • arthroplasty
  • finite element analysis
  • lithotripter
  • material properties
  • revision surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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