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J Surg Orthop Adv. 2008 Spring;17(1):27-33.

Highly cross-linked polyethylene bearing surfaces in total hip arthroplasty.

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Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Stanford University School of Medicine, CA 94305, USA.


Polyethylene wear-induced osteolysis is the most significant primary factor limiting the life span of total joint arthroplasty. To reduce ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) particulate wear debris, highly cross-linked polyethylene (HXPE) bearings have been introduced in total hip arthroplasty (THA). In vitro hip simulator wear studies with HXPE have demonstrated a decrease in volumetric wear at the hip by 42% to 100% when compared with conventional metal-on-polyethylene bearings. Early to intermediate clinical results suggest that the in vivo wear properties of HXPE products are superior to those of conventional UHMWPE. Second-generation HXPE materials that utilize alternate cross-linking and free radical quenching techniques have been developed and propose to further minimize wear and oxidation.

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