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The Influence of Ambient Theater Temperature on Cement Setting Time

A J Langdown, N Tsai, J Auld, W R Walsh, P M S Walker & W J M Bruce, 2006

J Arthroplasty 21(3): 380-383

We have prospectively recorded ambient operating theater temperature from 186 total knee arthroplasties and the time taken for the cement to set at implantation. The majority of cases used Antibiotic Simplex cement (n = 131), and the rest, Simplex with tobramycin (n = 55). Set time was defined as when a no. 15 scalpel could not indent the cement surface at either the femoral or tibial interface. There was a reasonable negative correlation between temperature and setting time (Antibiotic Simplex: Pearson correlation coefficient, R = -0.674; Simplex with tobramycin: R = -0.655). There was also a considerable variation of setting time at any given theater temperature. There is an inverse relationship between ambient theater temperature and the setting time for Simplex cement, and surgeons should be aware that the setting time can vary considerably. Their operative protocol should take this into account.

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