Polyethylene wear is a major contributor to osteolysis and subsequent aseptic loosening of prosthetic components in total hip arthroplasty. Use of ion implantation as a surface modification to the metallic bearing component of orthopaedic implants may be an effective means of reducing wear debris at the bearing interface. In July 1991, low friction ion treated femoral heads were introduced. This study evaluates the effect of the low friction ion treated femoral head on polyethylene wear. Fifty-five total hip arthroplasties (53 patients) with low friction ion treated femoral heads followed up a minimum of 3 years were matched with 55 total hip arthroplasties (47 patients) without low friction ion treated femoral heads for the same postoperative period. Socket wear was evaluated radiographically. Case matching and strict inclusion criteria were used to control for known factors influencing polyethylene wear. These criteria included: (1) cases matched for gender and age within 2 years; (2) diagnosis limited to osteoarthritis or avascular necrosis of the femoral head only; (3) femoral head diameter limited to 26 or 28 mm only; (4) hydroxyapatite coated femoral stem of the same design and a metal backed socket of the one of two designs with the same polyethylene insert; and (5) minimum followup of 3 years. The linear wear rate of polyethylene was 0.161 ± 0.095 mm per year in the group without the low friction ion treated heads and 0.116 ± 0.101 mm per year in the low friction ion treated group. The volumetric wear rates were 74.5 ± 44.3 mm3 per year for the group without the low friction ion treated heads and 57.8 ± 51.1 mm3 per year for the low friction ion treated group. Assuming the sensitivity of these measurements can detect these small differences in wear accurately, these results suggest low friction ion treated prosthetic heads are useful in reducing polyethylene wear at 3-year minimum followup.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine