Objectives: The aim of our study was to describe a biomechanical testing protocol to reproduce ex vivo craniodorsal hip luxation specific to the feline model, and evaluate the biomechanical properties of an intact hip joint compared with the fixation strength of two different techniques of extra-articular hip stabilisation.
Methods: Eighteen hip joints (femur and hemipelvis) were harvested from nine mature feline cadavers. CT was performed for each hip joint so that a biomechanical base specific to each joint morphotype could be created using computer-aided design. The biomechanical bases were then produced using a three-dimensional printer to secure the hip joints during testing. A total of 34 biomechanical compression tests were performed. Eighteen compression tests were performed in the control group, of which two fractured. The remaining 16 hip joints were then randomly assigned either to group A (hip joints stabilised with an extra-articular ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) implant secured by an interference screw [n = 8]) or to group B (hip joints stabilised with a UHMWPE iliofemoral suture [n = 8]).
Results: Mean ± SD yield, failure load and linear stiffness in the control group were 616 ± 168 N, 666 ± 158 N and 231 ± 50 N/mm, respectively. The relative fixation strength (% of intact joint) before hip luxation in groups A and B was 43.8% and 34.7%, respectively. No statistical difference was found between groups A and B for yield and failure load. However, the reoccurrence of craniodorsal hip luxation was higher in group B than in group A, in 5/8 and 0/8 tests, respectively. Moreover, in group A, the extra-articular UHMWPE implant induced caudodorsal hip luxation, reported as failure mode in 7/8 cases.
Conclusions and relevance: This modified biomechanical protocol for testing craniodorsal hip luxation in a feline model was validated as repeatable and with acceptable variance. The extra-articular UHMWPE implant stabilisation technique proved to be more efficient in avoiding reoccurrence of craniodorsal hip luxation than UHMWPE iliofemoral suture.