Polymethylmethacrylate: Properties and Contemporary Uses in Orthopaedics

J Am Acad Orthop Surg, Vol 18, No 5 Todd Jaeblon, DO

Polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) has been used in orthopaedics since the 1940s. Despite the development and popularity of new biomaterials, PMMA remains popular. Although its basic components remain the same, small proprietary and environmental changes create variations in its properties. PMMA can serve as a spacer and as a delivery vehicle for antibiotics, and it can be placed to eliminate dead space. Endogenous and exogenous variables that affect its performance include component variables, air, temperature, and handling and mixing. PMMA is used in hip arthroplasty and vertebral augmentation, notably, vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty. Cardiopulmonary complications have been reported.

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