The rationale for advances in implant design is to improve performance in comparison to their predecessors. The purpose of this study was to compare a newer, self-pressurizing peripheral peg glenoid to a traditional polyethylene pegged glenoid through biomechanical evaluation and a retrospective radiographic and clinical review.

Three testing conditions (uncemented, partially cemented, and fully cemented) were chosen to assess the 2 component designs in a foam block model. The number of hammer hits to seat the component, amount of time to seat the component, and resistance-to-seat were collected. The implants were then cyclically loaded following ASTM F2028-17 testing standard. Clinically, postoperative radiographs of patients with a self-pressurized glenoid component (n = 225 patients) and traditional glenoid component (n = 206 patients) were evaluated for radiolucent lines and glenoid seating at various timepoints. Clinical outcomes (American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons Standardized Shoulder Assessment Form, Simple Shoulder Test, and visual analog scale pain scores) and complications were recorded. The presence of radiolucent lines at the bone-cement interface was evaluated using the Modified Franklin Grade and the Lazarus grade.

The self-pressurizing glenoid design required significantly more hammer hits than traditional glenoid designs in all groups tested (P <  .029). Moreover, the self-pressurizing design had significantly more resistance-to-seat than traditional components in both the uncemented and partially cemented group (P <  .002). No difference in resistance-to-seat was found between designs in the fully cemented group. The uncemented and partially cemented groups did not survive the full 50,000 cycles; however the self-pressurizing design had significantly less motion than the traditional design (P <  .001). No differences between component designs were found in the fully cemented group at 50,000 cycles. The self-pressurizing glenoid component had 0.005% radiographic radiolucent lines, and the traditional glenoid component had 45% radiographic radiolucent lines, with 38% of the radiolucencies in the traditional glenoid component group being defined as grade E. There were no progressive radiolucencies, differences in clinical outcomes, or complications at 2 years postoperatively.

In the fully cemented condition, the 2 component designs had comparable performance; however, the differences in designs could be better observed in the uncemented group. The self-pressurizing all-polyethylene design studied has superior biomechanical stability. Clinically, the improved stability of the glenoid component correlated with a reduction of radiolucent lines and will likely lead to a reduction in glenoid component loosening.

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