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Proc Inst Mech Eng H. 2006 Feb;220(2):183-94.

The tribology of metal-on-metal total hip replacements.

Author information

1
Centre for Biomedical Engineering, School of Engineering, Durham University, Durham, UK. s.c.scholes@durham.ac.uk

Abstract

Total hip surgery is an effective way of alleviating the pain and discomfort caused by diseased or damaged joints. However, in the majority of cases, these joints have a finite life. The main reason for failure is osteolysis (bone resorption). It is well documented that an important cause of osteolysis, and therefore the subsequent loosening and failure of conventional metal- or ceramic-on-ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene joints, is the body's immunological response to the polyethylene wear particles. To avoid this, interest has been renewed in metal-on-metal joints. The intention of this paper is to review the studies that have taken place within different laboratories to determine the tribological performance of new-generation metal-on-metal total hip replacements. These types of joint offer a potential solution to enhance the longevity of prosthetic hip systems; however, problems may arise owing to the effects of metal ion release, which are, as yet, not fully understood.

PMID:
16669386
DOI:
10.1243/09544119JEIM40
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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