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Jonathan Cluett, M.D.

What is bone cement?

By May 18, 2008

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Bone cement is a substance commonly used to hold implants in bone. Often cement is used for hip replacement and knee replacement surgery.

Cement is a misnomer, as most often the word cement is used to describe something that adheres, or sticks together, two substances. Cement implies that the material sticks the implant into the bone. In reality, bone cement should really be called bone grout. The reason is that this material actually acts as a space-filler, to create a tight space for the implants to be held against the bone. Bone cement does not stick substances together, rather it fills the void between the implant and the surrounding bone.

Related: How Implants Are Held In Bone

December 6, 2008 at 10:55 am
(1) Gail says:

Has anyone here had any allergic reaction to this cement? If so, what was used as an alternative?

December 7, 2008 at 7:40 pm
(2) orthopedics says:

I have never heard of an allergy to bone cement.

There are joint replacement implants that do not use this cement, but it does require healthy bone that is strong enough to support the implant.


Jonathan Cluett MD
About.com Orthopedics

January 16, 2009 at 7:50 pm
(3) Nicole says:

I had surgery on my knee on Jun 15, 2007, I had a giant cell tumor inside my femur bone. I had to go through surgery and bone cement was put into my femur bone. I used to play basketball in college, but since surgery my doctor told me I cannot run or jump again. I have been having the hardest time staying away from basketball, I want to know if there is anyway I can ever run again? I want to know so I wont damage my knee or my femur. I been trying to do so much research to find someone like me…. but my case is very rare and I am getting no where…. PLEASE HELP! thank you


April 29, 2009 at 11:31 am
(4) stewart lustgarten says:

Dear Dr. Cluett

Your take on Bone Cement is all wrong. As a leading dental materials expert, Bone Cement’s MMA and residual MMA is outright POISON and is banned for false fingernails since 1974.

S.J. Lustgarten

November 11, 2009 at 4:31 pm
(5) nancy shulgan says:

My Mom had a failed shoulder replacement and we have just sought a second opinion. Before the doctor gives the opinion he wants to know if bone cement was used and is questionning osteolytis gravis. What does this mean and why is it significant as to whether he can redo it?

November 15, 2009 at 10:20 pm
(6) Cheryl Winkler says:

I had a hip replacement on June 22, 09, and 5 mo. later I’m having sever pain in the femor area. A bone scan shows movement of the stem. What should I do? What are the complications of a revision. I’m 50 and in good health otherwise…Help, Thanks, Cheryl

December 31, 2009 at 12:52 am
(7) Sue Vickstrom says:

I am a retired operating room nurse who worked in the total joint replacement room for 27 years and then developed a severe asthma from the liquid polymer part of the cement. I had to leave the surgery dept as if I had one whiff of the liquid, I would start to cough and become hoarse and have trouble breathing. I am scheduled for a total knee replacement shortly and will have to have a press fit knee.

January 8, 2010 at 5:19 pm
(8) mary ann says:

Help…had a partial knee replacement Sept 09. Having pain in knee . Xrays show cement in joint. What are my opitions? Also my leg is now croocked is this a common outcome from knee replacement?

February 15, 2010 at 4:13 pm
(9) Jeanine says:

My Mom is 92 and had hip replacement surgery about 20 years ago. As the years have gone by she has had some hip pain but has never considered a revision hip replacement. Last week she experienced extreme hip pain and x-rays showed that there were several cracks in the grout/cement around the femur. She is not a candidate for surgery. It is unknown if the cracks are new or have been there for awhile. No one even knows for sure if that is what is causing the pain. Any comments on diagnosis/prognosis?

February 23, 2010 at 10:40 am
(10) Govind says:

Hi i am Govind kapusetti,Research scholar and i am working on pmma bone cement ,there are many types of bone cements are avilable in the market ,ordinory bone cement,antibiotic bone cement and some composte bone cements for aged persions antibiotic bone cement is very useful for their immunosystem and bone cement is very important one in joint replacement surjery, because it enhance the life and also enhance the strength ,so my suggestion is if any body replace their joint they will must use bone cement.

March 11, 2010 at 8:56 am
(11) tarek says:

Am a dentist ,and i want to know if i can use bone cement to re-implant an extracted tooth that was impacted in an abnormal position…so would this bone cement fix it in place without any other kind of fixation and what about the healing??

March 14, 2010 at 4:06 pm
(12) Danny says:

Hi, does anyone know whether this bone cement could be used to correct deformity of the back of the head? Doesnt it need to be placed between 2 bones? Thanks

July 18, 2010 at 1:51 pm
(13) mahdiye says:

i want to know is there any chance to produce genetic motasio by use orthopaedic cement for pregnant woman?im a nurse in operating room and we use cement there;is there any threat for me and my baby by smelling cement?pls answer me

August 19, 2010 at 9:48 pm
(14) Shea Taylor says:

I severely broke my leg and lost a good piece of my Tibia. As of now there is bone grout with screws in place. Can a doctor just leave the grout and not do a bone graph? Can the bone grout be left in for good?

January 20, 2011 at 1:03 pm
(15) selim says:

can we use bone cement to keep in position two or more pieces of factured bone at maxilla or frontal bone?

March 20, 2011 at 8:41 am
(16) Shady says:

I need to know wat is the best ttt for a 82 year old female with osteoporosis and severe osteoarthritis with fracture neck femur wid a moving and walkin life mode (she walks) and y????

March 26, 2011 at 7:01 am
(17) Allen H says:

RE: NIcole 2008 Bone Cement
I 2 want 2 run again. The g-cell-tmr
I had (2004), burst befr my oprtn, and
even mor bone-cmt was used. This makes
re-bldng themuscle round my knee very hard.
Looking for help/suggestns, luv hoops myself,
not giving up.

May 3, 2011 at 8:35 am
(18) mulenga shamba says:

bone cement least with gentemicin how long is it supposed to stay on the fractured femur

July 29, 2011 at 5:08 pm
(19) Elvira Polisena says:

I had total right knee replacement done on 5/10/10 at Wellington Regional Hospital, Florida. I am allergic to bone cement, since then I have going through a lot medical problems, pain, inflamation, burning, hot, redness, circulation, swollen . My doctor is trying to get approve the process of press fit without using any joint cement at all.

Let me know if out there is another person having the same problems.???? Help..

November 26, 2011 at 4:54 pm
(20) Linda says:

To Nicole,

I now how u must feel cause I too had a giant cell tumor in my left shoulder and its replace with bone cement as well. I have already had 3 surgeries and still having trouble. Please contact me at LsassiJ213@aol.com. It’s hard enough to go thru this and have noone understand how hard its been.


April 6, 2012 at 10:33 am
(21) khushbakht says:

i have the same case as of nicole, plz tell me if ever i can walk properly in future, i dnt want to use sticks :(

April 24, 2012 at 3:46 pm
(22) Patty says:

You really don’t say want bone cement is? What is made from, where is comes from, is it man-made or a natural thing?

May 1, 2012 at 12:36 pm
(23) Peggy Jones says:

Have had increased pain over the past few years in my knees. I have had my left knee replaced in 2001.It has done mostly good. My right knee is a different story. I had my first replacement in 1999 on my right knee and it has never been real good since. I have had 3 partial revisions. The last of which was in 2009. Since that time the pain has been tremendous. I was recently tested for metal & polimer allergies to find out that I am allergic to most of the metals including titanium, but the worst allergy is for the cement. My question is Is the pain from the allergy? What else can be used instead of thre polimers that they use for cement?
Desparate for answers
Peggy Jones

June 16, 2012 at 5:08 am
(24) Bobbi June Smith says:

I feel very sorry for Allen H, No. 17 above, who apparently never had an opportunity to learn to speak English. He is never going to get any help if he can’t express himself any better than that.

October 8, 2012 at 11:10 am
(25) OFERO says:

HELLO, is a bone cement an -contra-indication for MRI?

or its OK to perform an MRI test after an implant operation?


October 15, 2012 at 10:39 am
(26) susanbatchilder says:

To Bobbi (#24 above): I have no problem understanding Allen (#17). He was most likely texting and using shorthand. Use more consideration when blogging.

November 16, 2012 at 9:54 am
(27) Lise Larsen says:

I have got Knee Replacement Surgery in 2009, and the bonecement have given me a lot of problems, like this in the link I put in here. Now I have to get operatet again so they can take all the stof out and also take care of the inflamation I have got, so for the next year I have to be in a wheelchair and after that I hope the dctors here in Denmark can find something which is not infecting me or give more allergy.

Bone cement implantation syndrome
A. J. Donaldson1, H. E. Thomson1, N. J. Harper2* and N. W. Kenny3
1Department of Anaesthesia, University Hospital of South Manchester, Southmoor Road,
Manchester M23 9LT, UK. 2Department of Anaesthesia and 3Department of Orthopaedic Surgery,
Manchester Royal Infirmary, Oxford Rd, Manchester M13 9WL, UK
*Corresponding author. E-mail: nigel.harper@manchester.ac.uk
Bone cement implantation syndrome (BCIS) is poorly understood. It is an important cause of
intraoperative mortality and morbidity in patients undergoing cemented hip arthroplasty and
may also be seen in the postoperative period in a milder form causing hypoxia and confusion.
Hip arthroplasty is becoming more common in an ageing population. The older patient may
have co-existing pathologies which can increase the likelihood of developing BCIS. This article
reviews the definition, incidence, clinical features, risk factors, aetiology, pathophysiology, risk
reduction, and management of BCIS. It is possible to identify high risk groups of patients in
which avoidable morbidity and mortality may be minimized by surgical selection for uncemented
arthroplasty. Invasive anaesthetic monitoring should be considered during cemented
arthroplasty in high risk patients.

July 11, 2013 at 1:08 pm
(28) Pack_Mule. says:

First Week in December ’12… I had (3) Titatiam Screws put in my Femor,They Feel Loose, I want them replaced with Bone formed Screws! Who can do that for me?

November 17, 2013 at 8:47 am
(29) Doc Richard says:

Had standard left TKA four years ago. Have had continuous pain and swelling since then. Skin allergy tests show I have a strong allergy to MMA bone cement, no allergy to metal. My orthopedist (Mayo trained) is very reluctant to replace to replace this knee with a press-fit procedure, because it is a very difficult technical procedure and the outcomes are very poor. Is there any new information about how to treat this apparent problem of MMA allergy to TKA?

February 7, 2014 at 1:33 am
(30) joss says:

Bone cement is usually based on glues. Glues are not safe to sniff let alone put in the body. Can the doctors provide any evidence of its safety?

March 10, 2014 at 2:35 pm
(31) Gary says:

My wife was a CRNA and she developed an allergy to methylmethacrylate (bone cement). She was diagnosed by one allergist and sent by her skeptical (physician group) employer to another who confirmed the allergy. She had to retire from healthcare because hospitals that do joint replacements cannot (and should not) make the accommodations she would need. And nobody wants to hire someone that cannot work during a remodeling, etc.

Apparently she is allergic to “acrylics” and must now avoid any glues that haven’t fully dried and aired. She carries epipens all the time and has used them several times in the past two years.
And, as fate would have it, she needs a knee replacement and is having to look at press-fit.

So, Dr. Cluett, your reaction was typical and forgiveable. Now, you have learned something from us.

March 22, 2014 at 7:36 am
(32) Anonymous says:

Finally, after all the years prior and since my knee replacement, I am finding people who have had similar problems to what I have experienced. My first was in 2006 – revision in 2008. And the knee is “just not right”! Do not know how else to explain it. Also have developed sensitivities I did not have before. Ended up with anaphylactic shock last year, repeatedly. many times the knee feels hot, or my leg will get so cold, and there will be different skin temperatures , upon palpation.
Now I find that some of the cement uses 10% barium sulfate. I am allergic to sulfa drugs. And I am just starting to see that there are toxic effects from the MMA monomer.”The reported effects of MMA to surgical personnel in the work environment include hypersensitivity, asthmatic reactions, local neurological symptoms, irritations and local dermatological reactions. It is not believed to be carcinogenic at this time”.????????Really – did we test for it?????

March 22, 2014 at 7:40 am
(33) Anonymous says:

And Dr. Cluett,
While I do not want to disrespect you- please do some more research. Just because you never have heard of it, does not mean it does not happen. We know our bodies. You have had the schooling. But that does not mean, you are able to know everything.

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