Alternative bearing couples in total hip replacements: Solutions for young patients
There is now considerable clinical concern about the effect of polyethylene wear debris induced osteolysis in long term failure of hip replacements. This paper compares the wear of stabilised and crosslinked polyethylene to alternative hard on hard bearings. The volumetric wear rates of stabilised and moderately crosslinked polyethylene 50 to 35 mm3/million cycles were less than previously reported for historical gamma irradiated in air polyethylene, but still of a level that in the long term could cause osteolysis. The moderately crosslinked polyethylene produced less wear than non-crosslinked polyethylene, but particles were smaller and more reactive resulting in little change in the osteolytic potential. Alumina ceramic on ceramic produced substantially less wear and osteolytic potential. Metal on metal also produced less wear than polyethylene but the particles adversely influence cell viability.