A computer-based biomechanical analysis of the three-dimensional motion of cementless hip prostheses

Jeremy L. Gilbert, Richard S. Bloomfeld, Eugene P. Lautenschlager, Richard L. Wixson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


A computer-based mathematical technique was developed to measure and completely describe the migration and micromotion of a femoral hip prosthesis relative to the femur. This technique utilized the mechanics of rigid-body motion analysis and apparatus of seven linear displacement transducers to measure and describe the complete three-dimensional motion of the prosthesis during cyclic loading. Computer acquisition of the data and custom analysis software allowed one to calculate the magnitude and direction of the motion of any point of interest on the prostheses from information about the motion of two points on the device. The data were also used to replay the tests using a computer animation technique, which allowed a magnified view of the three-dimensional motion of the prosthesis. This paper describes the mathematical development of the rigid-body motion analysis, the experimental method and apparatus for data collection, the technique used to animate the motion, the sources of error and the effect of the assumptions (rigid bodies) on the results. Selected results of individual test runs of uncemented and cemented prostheses are presented to demonstrate the efficacy of the method. The combined effect of the vibration and electrical noise resulted in a resolution of the system of about 3-5 μm motion for each transducer. Deformation effects appear to contribute about 3-15 μm to the measurement error. This measurement and analysis technique is a very sensitive and powerful means of assessing the effects of different design parameters on the migration and micromotion of total joint prostheses and can be applied to any other case (knee, dental implant) where three-dimensional relative motion between two bodies is important.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)329-333,335-340
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Rehabilitation


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