After total hip arthroplasty, impingement of implant components may occur during every-day patient activities causing increased shear stresses at the acetabular implant–bone interface. In the literature, impingement related lever-out moments were noted for a number of acetabular components. But there is little information about pelvic load transfer. The aim of the current study was to measure the three-dimensional strain distribution at the macrostructured hemispherical interface and in the periphery of a standard acetabular press-fit cup in an experimental implant-bone substitute model. An experimental setup was developed to simulate impingement loading via a lever arm representing the femoral component and the lower limb. In one experimental setup 12 strain gauges were embedded at predefined positions in the periphery of the acetabular cup implant inside a tray, using polyurethane composite resin as a bone substitute material. By incremental rotation of the implant tray in steps of 10 and 30 deg, respectively, the strains were measured at evenly distributed positions. With the described method 288 genuine strain values were measured in the periphery of an embedded acetabular cup implant in one experimental setup. In two additional setups the strains were evaluated at different distances from the implant interface. Both in radial and meridional interface directions strain magnitudes reach their peak near the rim of the cup below the impingement site. Values of equatorial strains vary near zero and reach their peaks near the rim of the cup on
either side and in some distance from the impingement site. Interestingly, the maximum of averaged radial strains does not occur, as expected, close to the interface but at an interface offset of 5.6 mm. With the described experimental setup it is now possible to measure and display the three-dimensional strain distribution in the interface and the periphery of an embedded acetabular cup implant. The current study provides the first experimental proof of the high local stresses gradients in the direct vicinity of the impingement site. The results of the current study help for a better understanding of the impingement mechanism and its impact on acetabular cup stability.