Study demonstrates lower wear rates in highly cross-linked polyethylene bearings in hip replacement in under 65s

Published date : 11 May 2012
Article date : 11 May 2012

Adding to the debate about bearing surfaces, a team from St Michael’s Hospital in Toronto studied 102 hip replacements in 91 patients randomised to receive either a cobalt-chrome on ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE), cobalt chrome on highly cross-linked polyethylene (HXLPE),  or a ceramic-on-ceramic bearing. All patients received a Smith and Nephew Synergy uncemented stem and a Reflection uncemented acetabular component.  Bearings were 28mm cobalt-chrome heads with UHMWPE, HXLPE or ceramic-on-ceramic. 87 patients were available for five year review.

The team found no differences in outcome scores or failure rates, but did find a significant difference in mean polyethylene wear rates; 0.151 mm/year for UHMWPE compared with 0.059mm/year for HXLPE. The ceramic-on-ceramic bearing wear was less at 0.0067mm/year, but 3 of 34 patients had squeaking of the bearing. 
For more information on this study, please refer to the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery (British Volume) article by VS Nikolaou et al here.
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