Cement disease

L. C. Jones, David S Hungerford

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

314 Scopus citations


Does 'cement disease' exist? The bony environment surrounding a loosened cemented prosthesis is an abnormal pathologic condition which, if left unattended, will progress to a total failure of the joint including an inhibition of function and immobilizing pain. That biomaterial properties of the cement used for fixation also contribute to the pathologic state separates this disease from other modes of loosening. This leads inevitably to the conclusion that 'cement disease' does exist. Methyl methacrylate has revolutionized the treatment of severe joint dysfunction. There can be no doubt that improving surgical technique, cement handling, and the cement itself will continue to improve the results and reduce the incidence of failure due to loosening. Cement is undoubtedly satisfactory for elderly patients with low activity levels and relatively short life expectancies. However, because of the inherent biologic and biomechanical properties of methyl methacrylate, it is unlikely that it can be rendered satisfactory in the long run for the young, the active, or the overweight patient, for whom alternatives are currently being sought. In such cases, the elimination of 'cement disease' can only occur with the elimination of cement. Alternatives include the search for other grouting materials and the development of prostheses with satisfactory surfaces for either press-fit or biologic ingrowth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)192-206
Number of pages15
JournalClinical orthopaedics and related research
StatePublished - 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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