In vivo wear behavior of 16 highly cross-linked and 19 conventional polyethylene acetabular explants, at an average in vivo duration of 6 months were studied. Highly cross-linked groups showed machining marks from the original manufacturing process in some areas and extensive scratching and some polishing of the articulating surfaces. The conventional group showed greater loss of machining marks, scratching, and polishing. Representative samples were melted to allow recovery of plastic deformation and to show true removal of material caused by wear. Melt-recovery experiments consistently showed the disappearance of surface scratches and the restoration of the original machining marks in the highly cross-linked explants. In the conventional group, few of the scratches were eliminated and only limited restoration of the machining marks was apparent. These observations support the hypothesis that the early in vivo scratching of highly cross-linked polyethylene acetabular liners is primarily caused by plastic deformation.
- Retrieval study
- Total hip arthroplasty
- Ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE)
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine