Wear of HIPed and non-HIPed alumina–alumina hip joints under standard and severe simulator testing conditions
Wear and the biological response to wear debris of artificial joints remain major concerns in total hip arthroplasty (THA). The long–term effects of UHMWPE wear debris are well documented and these have led to interest in alternate bearing materials for THA. Alumina ceramic–ceramic hip joints have been successfully used for more than 30 years with low wear and little incidence of osteolysis. The most common wear pattern observed on retrieved components is an elliptical wear ‘stripe’ on the heads and a corresponding worn area on the cup with an approximated wear rate of 1–5 mm3 pa. More severe wear has also occasionally occurred, usually in association with an abnormal clinical history. Modern alumina–alumina THAs use an improved HIPed (hot isostatically pressed) alumina ceramic-bearing material which may be more resistant to severe wear. Previous in vitro simulator studies have not replicated in vivo wear rates or mechanisms. The aim of this study was to compare previous generation non-HIPed alumina and modern HIPed alumina in a hip joint simulator under ‘normal’ and ‘harsh’ testing conditions. HIPed alumina was found to have a lower wear rate than non-HIPed alumina, although the difference was not statistically significant at the 95% confidence level. Testing in Gelofusine® and water lubricants did not elevate the wear rates of either material. Elevated swing phase load testing also had no significant effect on the wear rates of either material. Testing in the absence of any lubricant produced very severe wear of the non-HIPed material in one specimen only.
Journal: Biomaterials - Volume 22, Issue 16, 15 August 2001, Pages 2191–2197