ORS 2012 Poster - Impact of Large Diameter and Ceramic Femoral Heads on HXLPE Wear
The purpose of this multicenter study was to assess the wear behavior of HXLPEs in the context of polyethylene formulation, head size, and head bearing surface. Researchers from Drexel University evaluated whether (1) large diameter (32+ mm) heads would exhibit greater wear than smaller heads (28 mm or less); and (2) if ceramic bearing surfaces would decrease the wear of HXLPE liners. 354 hip liners were consecutively retrieved during revision surgeries at 9 surgical centers and continuously analyzed over the past 10 years in a prospective, multicenter study of THA revision outcomes and retrieval analysis. An unexpected finding of our retrieval program has been the observations of late zirconia ceramic head failures, associated with the 2001 recall by the manufacturer. Consequently, even though in vitro studies have demonstrated a benefit with the use of ceramic heads as opposed to a metallic head, the clinical performance of ceramic heads as a general class of materials against HXLPEs remains unclear. To date, we have not observed accelerated wear of HXLPE liners associated with larger femoral heads.
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