Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2008 Nov;466(11):2806-12. doi: 10.1007/s11999-008-0472-4. Epub 2008 Sep 10.

Highly crosslinked polyethylene is safe for use in total knee arthroplasty.

Author information

  • 1Southern Joint Replacement Institute, Nashville, TN 37205, USA.


Highly cross-linked polyethylene (XLPE) has been used with good initial success in hip arthroplasty to reduce wear. However, the process of crosslinking reduces fracture toughness, raising concerns as to whether it can be safely used in total knee arthroplasty (TKA). We therefore asked whether XLPE can be used safely in TKA. We performed a retrospective review of 100 subjects receiving XLPE and compared them to 100 subjects who received standard polyethylene in the setting of TKA. The standard polyethylene group had a mean age of 70 with a minimum follow up of 82 months. The highly cross-linked polyethylene group had a mean age of 67 and a minimum follow up of 69 months (mean, 75 months; range, 69-82 months). On radiographic review, the standard group demonstrated 20 TKAs with radiolucencies; 4 of these had evidence of a loose tibial component. The standard group required three revisions related to loose tibial components. The XLPE group had 2 subjects that demonstrated radiolucencies on radiograph and no subjects with evidence of tibial loosening. There were no reoperations related to osteolysis. The data suggest XLPE in TKA can be used safely at least short- to midterm. Our study provides an impetus for further long-term investigation.


Level III, therapeutic study. See the Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Springer Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk