The purpose of this study was to evaluate the long-term wear performance of alumina matrix composite (AMC) heads against alumina matrix composite inserts and alumina matrix composite heads against alumina (Al) inserts with the use of a hip-joint simulator incorporating severe swing phase joint microseparation. The wear of AMC on Al produced an average wear rate of 0.61 mm3/million cycles over the 5-million-cycle test duration. The wear of AMC on AMC produced an average wear rate of 0.16 mm3/million cycles over the 5-million-cycle test duration. Both the AMC on alumina and AMC on AMC produced significantly lower wear than previously tested HIPed alumina, where an average wear rate of 1.84 mm3/million cycles was reported over 5 million cycles. The wear mechanisms and wear debris of AMC on AMC and AMC on Al were similar to those observed in previous alumina retrieval studies with stripe wear caused by intragranular fracture and wear debris consisting of predominantly uniform 10-20-nm-sized particles and a few irregular particles up to 3 microm in size.
The wear of existing metal-on-metal (MOM) hip prostheses (1 mm3/million cycles) is much lower than the more widely used polyethylene-on-metal bearings (30-100 mm3/million cycles). However, there remain some potential concerns about the toxicity of metal wear particles and elevated metal ion levels, both locally and systemically in the human body. The aim of this study was to investigate the wear, wear debris and ion release of fully coated surface engineered MOM bearings for hip prostheses. Using a physiological anatomical hip joint simulator, five different bearing systems involving three thick (8-12 microm) coatings, TiN, CrN and CrCN, and one thin (2 microm) coating diamond like carbon (DLC) were evaluated and compared to a clinically used MOM cobalt chrome alloy bearing couple. The overall wear rates of the surface engineered prostheses were at least 18-fold lower than the traditional MOM prostheses after 2 million cycles and 36-fold lower after 5 million cycles. Consequently, the volume of wear debris and the ion levels in the lubricants were substantially lower. These parameters were also much lower than in half coated (femoral heads only) systems that have been reported previously. The extremely low volume of wear debris and concentration of metal ions released by these surface engineered systems, especially with CrN and CrCN coatings, have considerable potential for the clinical application of this technology.
UHMWPE wear particles have been implicated in osteolysis, implant loosening, and long-term failure of total hip arthroplasties in vivo. This study examined four carbon-based composite materials as alternatives for UHMWPE in joint bearings. These materials were HMU-CVD, SMS-CVD, P25-CVD, and CFR-PEEK. New bearing materials should satisfy certain criteria: they should have good wear properties that at least match UHMWPE, and produce wear particles with low levels of biological activity. Of the four materials tested in multidirectional pin-on-plate tribological tests, SMS-CVD, P25-CVD, and CFR-PEEK showed lower volumetric wear factors than UHMWPE. P25-CVD had the lowest wear factor of 0.54 +/- 0.34 x 10(-7) mm(3)/Nm. Analysis of P25-CVD wear particles by transmission electron microscopy showed that the debris was very small, with the vast majority of particles being under 100 nm in size, which was similar in size to metal wear particles. The P25-CVD particles were isolated and cultured with L929 fibroblasts and U937 monocytic cells to assess their effect on cell viability. P25-CVD particles were significantly less cytotoxic (p < 0.01, ANOVA) to both cell types than CoCr metal wear particles. This work suggests that carbon-carbon composite materials may have potential for use in total hip replacement bearings. Of the materials tested P25-CVD had the lowest wear factor, and produced very small wear debris that had minimal cytotoxic effect on L929 and U937 cells in vitro. Therefore carbon-carbon composites, such as P25-CVD, may be important in the development of next-generation implants with lower wear rates and reduced cytotoxic potential.
The results of hip and knee replacement surgery are generally regarded as positive for patients. Nonetheless, they are both major operations and have recognised complications. We present a review of relevant claims made to the National Health Service Litigation Authority. Between 1995 and 2010 there were 1001 claims to a value of £41.5 million following hip replacement surgery and 523 claims to a value of £21 million for knee replacement. The most common complaint after hip surgery was related to residual neurological deficit, whereas after knee replacement it was related to infection. Vascular complications resulted in the highest costs per case in each group.Although there has been a large increase in the number of operations performed, there has not been a corresponding relative increase in litigation. The reasons for litigation have remained largely unchanged over time after hip replacement. In the case of knee replacement, although there has been a reduction in claims for infection, there has been an increase in claims for technical errors. There has also been a rise in claims for non-specified dissatisfaction. This information is of value to surgeons and can be used to minimise the potential mismatch between patient expectation, informed consent and outcome.
Wear of polyethylene and the resulting wear debris-induced osteolysis remains a major cause of long-term failure in artificial hip joints. There is interest in understanding engineering and clinical conditions that influence wear rates. Fluoroscopic studies have shown separation of the head and the cup during the swing phase of walking due to joint laxity. In ceramic-on-ceramic hips, joint laxity and microseparation, which leads to contact of the head on the superior rim of the cup, has led to localized damage and increased wear in vivo and in vitro. The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of joint laxity and microseparation on the wear of ceramic on polyethylene artificial hip joints in an in vitro simulator. Microseparation during the swing phase of the walking cycle produced contact of the ceramic head on the rim of the polyethylene acetabular cup that deformed the softer polyethylene cup. No damage to the alumina ceramic femoral head was found. Under standard simulator conditions the volume change of the moderately crosslinked polyethylene cups was 25.6 +/- 5.3 mm3/million cycles and this reduced to 5.6 +/- 4.2 mm3/million cycles under microseparation conditions. Testing under microseparation conditions caused the rim of the polyethylene cup to deform locally, possibly due to creep, and the volume change of the polyethylene cup when the head relocated was substantially reduced, possibly due to improved lubrication. Joint laxity may be caused by poor soft tissue tension or migration and subsidence of components. In ceramic-on-polyethylene acetabular cups wear was decreased with a small degree of joint laxity, while in contrast in hard-on-hard alumina bearings, microseparation accelerated wear. These findings may have significant implications for the choice of fixation systems to be used for different types of bearing couples.
Computational models of the natural hip joint are needed to examine and optimise tissue sparing interventions where the natural cartilage remains part of the bearing surfaces. Although the importance of interstitial fluid pressurisation in the performance of cartilage has long been recognized, few studies have investigated the time dependent interstitial fluid pressurisation in a three dimensional natural hip joint model. The primary aim of this study was to develop a finite element model of the natural hip incorporating the biphasic cartilage layers that was capable of simulating the joint response over a prolonged physiological loading period. An initial set of sensitivity studies were also undertaken to investigate the influence of hip size, clearance, cartilage properties, thickness and hemiarthroplasty on the contact mechanics of the joint. The contact stress, contact area, fluid pressure and fluid support ratio were calculated and cross-compared between models with different parameters to evaluate their influence. It was found that the model predictions for the period soon after loading were sensitive to the hip size, clearance, cartilage aggregate modulus, thickness and hemiarthroplasty, while the time dependent behaviour over 3000 s was influenced by the hip clearance and cartilage aggregate modulus, permeability, thickness and hemiarthroplasty. The modelling methods developed in this study provide a basic platform for biphasic simulation of the whole hip joint onto which more sophisticated material models or other input parameters could be added in the future.
There is currently much discussion about the most clinically relevant testing methods for evaluating total hip replacements. This study examined the effect of different swing phase loads, including microseparation, on the wear, friction, and wear particles of metal-on-metal (MOM) hip replacements. MOM hip replacements were tested for 5 million cycles with the use of a hip simulator; prostheses were tested with a low (100-N) and ISO (280-N) swing phase load, and under microseparation conditions. Increasing the swing phase load from 100 to 280 N in the same hip simulator increased the wear of the MOM hip replacements by over tenfold. Introducing microseparation into the gait cycle increased wear further, and stripe wear was observed on the femoral heads, accompanied by corresponding rim damage on the acetabular cups. No significant difference in wear particle size was observed between wear particles produced by low load and microseparation hip simulator conditions. Introducing microseparation into the hip simulator gait cycle increased the wear of MOM prostheses. Joint laxity and separation may lead to increased wear rates of MOM prostheses in vivo. Additionally elevated positive swing phase loads may also increase wear. Variable swing phase load conditions in vivo may contribute to variations in clinical wear rates.
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