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Orientation and wear of the acetabular component in third generation alumina-on-alumina ceramic bearings


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We studied 33 third generation, alumina ceramic-on-ceramic bearings retrieved from cementless total hip replacements after more than six months in situ. Wear volume was measured with a Roundtest machine, and acetabular orientation from the anteroposterior pelvic radiograph. The overall median early wear rate was 0.1 mm3/yr for the femoral heads, and 0.04 mm3/yr for the acetabular liners. We then excluded hips where the components had migrated. In this stable subgroup of 22 bearings, those with an acetabular anteversion of < 15° (seven femoral heads) had a median femoral head wear rate of 1.2 mm3/yr, compared with 0 mm3/yr for those with an anteversion of ≥15° (15 femoral heads, p < 0.001). Even under edge loading, wear volumes with ceramic-on-ceramic bearings are small in comparison to other bearing materials. Low acetabular anteversion is associated with greater wear.

Correspondence should be sent to Dr W. L. Walter; e-mail: bill.walter@hipknee.com.au

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