Mechanical characteristics of antibiotic-laden bone cement.

Research paper by Michael S MS Armstrong, Robert F RF Spencer, James L JL Cunningham, Sabina S Gheduzzi, Anthony W AW Miles, Ian D ID Learmonth

Indexed on: 30 Jan '03Published on: 30 Jan '03Published in: Acta orthopaedica Scandinavica


We studied the mechanical characteristics of cement-antibiotic combinations in vitro. Palacos R was tested without antibiotics, with gentamicin alone and with gentamicin plus vancomycin or flucloxacillin. Palacos LV was studied only with gentamicin added. CMW 1 was studied with gentamicin added, with gentamicin plus vancomycin, and with gentamicin plus flucloxacillin. We performed four-point bending tests on beams of cement to establish bending strength and modulus, and compared the values to ISO standards. Density was also assessed. Palacos R was the strongest of the cements (bending strength 80 MPa). Palacos formulations (apart from Palacos LV) had a higher density and bending modulus than CMW 1. Statistical comparison of various cements with plain Palacos R showed lower density in 4 of the mixtures, and lower bending strength and modulus in 6 of the mixtures. Palacos R/gentamicin plus vancomycin and CMW 1/gentamicin plus vancomycin had bending strength slightly above minimum ISO standards, suggesting that the addition of vancomycin during cement mixing may compromise the outcome in revision surgery for sepsis.