Radial head prosthesis micromotion characteristics: Partial versus fully grit-blasted stems

Cholawish Chanlalit, James S. Fitzsimmons, Jun Gyu Moon, Lawrence J. Berglund, Kai Nan An, Shawn W. O'Driscoll

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Background: Compared to fully textured prosthetic stems, partial texturing lessens bone loss due to stress shielding and makes removal easier. However, initial press-fit stability is necessary for bone ingrowth. Hypothesis: There is no significant difference in the initial stability of radial head prostheses that are partially grit-blasted compared to those that are fully grit-blasted. Materials and methods: Cadaveric radii were implanted with partial or fully grit-blasted radial head prostheses. Micromotion of the stem at the isthmus of the canal and stem tip were measured under circumstances simulating eccentric loads. Results: Micromotion was not significantly different in the fully grit-blasted stems (isthmus, 11 ± 1 μm; tip, 21 ± 2 μm) and partially grit-blasted stems (isthmus, 13 ± 2 μm; tip, 25 ± 2 μm) (P = 0.4). The direction of loading had no effect on micromotion characteristics in either the fully or partially grit-blasted stems (P = .07). Discussion: Micromotion is comparable in partially and fully grit-blasted radial head prosthetic stems. For both stem surfaces, micromotion was well within the range that is conducive for bone ingrowth. A partially textured stem might have less bone loss due to stress shielding, making it easier to remove without destroying bone. Conclusion: The initial stability of a radial head stem that is partially grit-blasted only at the proximal end is comparable to that of a radial head stem that is grit-blasted along its entire length.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)27-32
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2011


  • Basic Science Study
  • Grit-blasted stem
  • Initial stability, stem surface
  • Radial head prosthesis
  • Stress shielding

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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