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Open Access Research article

In vivo wear performance of highly cross-linked polyethylene vs. yttria stabilized zirconia and alumina stabilized zirconia at a mean seven-year follow-up

Masahiro Hasegawa* and Akihiro Sudo

Author Affiliations

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Mie University Graduate School of Medicine, Tsu City Mie 514-8507, Japan

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BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 2013, 14:154  doi:10.1186/1471-2474-14-154

Published: 1 May 2013

Abstract

Background

Zirconia was introduced as an alternative to alumina for use in the femoral head. The yttria stabilized zirconia material was improved by adding alumina. We evaluated highly cross-linked polyethylene wear performance of zirconia in total hip arthroplasty. The hypothesis was that alumina stabilized zirconia could decrease highly cross-linked polyethylene wear.

Methods

Highly cross-linked polyethylene wear was measured with a computerized method (PolyWare) in 91 hips. The steady-state wear rates were measured based on the radiographs from the first year postoperatively to the final follow-up and were compared between hips with yttria stabilized zirconia and alumina stabilized zirconia.

Results

The steady-state wear rate of highly cross-linked polyethylene against zirconia was 0.02 mm/year at a mean follow-up of 7 years. No significant difference was observed between groups with yttria stabilized zirconia and alumina stabilized zirconia.

Conclusions

Addition of alumina to the zirconia material failed to show further reduction of highly cross-linked polyethylene wear and our hypothesis was not verified.

Keywords:
Total hip arthroplasty; Zirconia; Highly cross-linked polyethylene; Wear; Transformation rate