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J Arthroplasty. 2014 Nov;29(11):2219-23. doi: 10.1016/j.arth.2014.08.011. Epub 2014 Aug 15.

Zirconia phase transformation, metal transfer, and surface roughness in retrieved ceramic composite femoral heads in total hip arthroplasty.

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Department of Biomechanics, Hospital for Special Surgery, New York, New York.
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine/Barnes-Jewish Hospital, St. Louis, Missouri.
Science Department, City University of New York, Borough of Manhattan Community College, New York, New York.
Adult Reconstruction and Joint Replacement Service, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Hospital for Special Surgery, New York, New York.


Ceramic femoral heads have had promising results as a bearing surface in total hip arthroplasty. Our objective was to evaluate a series of retrieved alumina-zirconia composite ceramic femoral heads for evidence of the tetragonal to monoclinic zirconia phase transformation, metal transfer and articular surface roughness. Raman spectra showed evidence of the zirconia phase transformation in all retrieved specimens, with distinct monoclinic peaks at 183, 335, 383, and 479 cm(-1). All components displayed metal transfer. An increase in the zirconia phase transformation was seen with increasing time in vivo. No correlation between extent of zirconia phase transformation and the surface roughness was found. These short-term results suggest that the use of an alumina-zirconia composite ceramic is a viable option for femoral heads in THA.


Biolox delta; ceramic; hip arthroplasty; phase transformation; retrieval analysis

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