Changes in the morphology of microgrooved stem tapers with differing assembly conditions

Karl Dransfield, James Williamson, Radu Racasan, Paul Bills

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)



Fretting and corrosion at the head-stem taper junction has been cited as a potential clinical concern. Material loss measurement is a vital tool for quantifying changes due to in vitro, in vivo, and/or ex-vivo implant experience. Material loss measurement requires reconstruction of pre-implantation geometry to delineate damage. This is straightforward in principle for plain machined tapers, integrating between a fitted interpolated cone and the measured data. Mathematical filtration methods have been developed to remove this texture and facilitate measurement. The extent to which the assembly process could influence filtration accuracy is not currently known.

An engagement/ disengagement study was performed on 27 head/ stem pairs using 2, 4, and 8kN impact loads. Impact was delivered in three locations; axial, 10o anterior, and 10o anteroproximal. Pull-off force was measured, and stems were measured pre and post assembly using a Talyrond 365 roundness measurement machine.

An increase in the plastic deformation of microgrooves and pull-off force was noted with increasing assembly loads. Off-axis impaction resulted in reduced pull-off strength and reduced uniform microgroove distortion. Volumetric change between pre and post assembly was below the noise threshold on stem and head surfaces.

The measurement method was shown to be capable of capturing linear microgroove deformation of 1 μm peak – peak and volume loss above 0.1mm3. Lower peak load was noted when impacting a seated head when compared with engagement of discrete heads and stems, under the same assembly conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100096
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
Early online date25 Apr 2019
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019


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