header advert
You currently have no access to view or download this content. Please log in with your institutional or personal account if you should have access to through either of these
The Bone & Joint Journal Logo

Receive monthly Table of Contents alerts from The Bone & Joint Journal

Comprehensive article alerts can be set up and managed through your account settings

View my account settings

Get Access locked padlock

Delamination of a highly cross-linked polyethylene liner associated with titanium deposits on the cobalt-chromium modular femoral head following dislocation

Download PDF


Retrieval studies of total hip replacements with highly cross-linked ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene liners have shown much less surface damage than with conventional ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene liners. A recent revision hip replacement for recurrent dislocation undertaken after only five months revealed a highly cross-linked polyethylene liner with a large area of visible delamination. In order to determine the cause of this unusual surface damage, we analysed the bearing surfaces of the cobalt-chromium femoral head and the acetabular liner with scanning electron microscopy, energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy and optical profilometry. We concluded that the cobalt-chromium modular femoral head had scraped against the titanium acetabular shell during the course of the dislocations and had not only roughened the surface of the femoral head but also transferred deposits of titanium onto it. The largest deposits were 1.6 μm to 4.3 μm proud of the surrounding surface and could lead to increased stresses in the acetabular liner and therefore cause accelerated wear and damage.

This case illustrates that dislocations can leave titanium deposits on cobalt-chromium femoral heads and that highly cross-linked ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene remains susceptible to surface damage.

Correspondence should be sent to Dr M. D. Ries; e-mail: riesm@orthosurg.ucsf.edu

For access options please click here