Systemic alendronate treatment improves fixation of press-fit implants: A canine study using nonloaded implants

Thomas B. Jensen*, Joan E. Bechtold, Xinqian Chen, Kjeld Søballe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Bone resorption associated with local trauma occurring during insertion of joint prostheses is recognized as an early event. Being an osteoclastic inhibitor, alendronate is a potential candidate means to decrease early periprosthetic bone resorption and thereby improve implant fixation. We investigated the influence of oral alendronate treatment on early implant fixation in two implant interface settings representing sites of an implant that are in contact with surrounding bone, and other sites without intimate bone contact. One plasma-sprayed cylindrical titanium implant (6 mm diameter) was inserted into each proximal tibia of 16 dogs. On one side the implant was inserted press-fit whereas on the contralateral side, the implants were surrounded by a 2 mm concentric gap. Oral alendronate (0.5 mg/kg1day) was given 2 weeks following surgery to eight dogs. The dogs were euthanized after 10 weeks of alendronate treatment. Bone ongrowth (bone in contact with implant surface) was estimated using the linear intercept technique and shear strength was calculated as the slope on a load-displacement curve. For the press fit implants, alendronate treatment significantly increased bone ongrowth from 24% to 29% and significantly increased ultimate shear strength from 1.26 to 3.72 MPa. Also, the fraction of periprosthetic bone significantly increased from 10% to 18%. For implants surrounded by a gap, alendronate neither stimulated nor impaired implant fixation, bone ingrowth, or new bone formation in the gaps. Because early implant stability is an important predictor of longevity, systemic alendronate treatment could be an important clinical tool to positively influence the early stages of implant incorporation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)772-778
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Bisphosphonates
  • Implant
  • Noncemented prosthesis


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