Bone and Joint Institute

The effect of short-stem humeral component sizing on humeral bone stress

Document Type


Publication Date



Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery





First Page


Last Page


URL with Digital Object Identifier



© 2019 Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery Board of Trustees Background: Several humeral stem design modifications for shoulder arthroplasty, including reduced stem length, changes to metaphyseal geometry, and alterations to implant surface texture, have been introduced to reduce stress shielding. However, the effect of changes in the diametral size of short-stem humeral components remains poorly understood. The purpose of this finite element study was to quantify the effect of varying the size of short-stem humeral components on the changes in bone stress from the intact state to the reconstructed state. Methods: Three-dimensional models of 8 male cadaveric humeri (mean age, 68 ± 6 years; all left-sided humeri) were constructed from computed tomography data using Mimics software. Each humerus was then reconstructed with 2 short-stem components (Exactech Preserve), one having a larger diametral size (SH+) and one having a smaller diametral size (SH–). Modeling was conducted for loading states consistent with 45° and 75° of abduction, and the resulting changes in bone stress compared with the intact state and the expected bone response were determined. Results: The smaller (SH–) short-stem implant produced humeral cortical and trabecular bone stresses that were closer to the intact state than the larger (SH+) short-stem implant at several locations beneath the humeral head resection (P ≤ .032). A similar trend was observed for expected bone response, where the smaller (SH–) short-stem implant had a smaller proportion of bone that was expected to resorb following reconstruction compared with the larger (SH+) short-stem implant for several slice depths in the medial quadrant (P ≤ .02). Discussion: These findings may indicate that smaller short-stem components are favorable in terms of stress shielding.

Find in your library