Periprosthetic osteolysis in the retroacetabular region with cancellous bone loss is a recognized phenomenon in the long-term follow-up of total hip replacement. The effects on load transfer in the presence of defects are less well known. A validated, patient-specific, 3D finite element (FE) model of the pelvis was used to assess changes in load transfer associated with periprosthetic osteolysis adjacent to a cementless total hip arthroplasty (THA) component. The presence of a cancellous defect significantly increased (p < 0.05) von Mises stress in the cortical bone of the pelvis during walking and a fall onto the side. At loads consistent with single leg stance, this was still less than the predicted yield stress for cortical bone. During higher loads associated with a fall onto the side, highest stress concentrations occurred in the superior and inferior pubic rami and in the anterior column of the acetabulum with larger cancellous defects.

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