© 2014 Orthopaedic Research Society. Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Orthop Res 32:1221–1233, 2014.

A lexicon for wear of metal‐on‐metal hip prostheses

Harry A. McKellop Alister Hart Sang‐Hyun Park Harry Hothi Pat Campbell John A. Skinner

Research on metal‐on‐metal (MoM) hip bearings has generated an extensive vocabulary to describe the wear processes and resultant surface damage. However, a lack of consistency and some redundancy exist in the current terminology. To facilitate the understanding of MoM tribology and to enhance communication of results among researchers and clinicians, we propose four categories of wear terminology: wear modes refer to the in vivo conditions under which the wear occurred; wear mechanisms refer to fundamental wear processes (adhesion, abrasion, fatigue, and tribochemical reactions); wear damage refers to the resultant changes in the morphology and/or composition of the surfaces; and wear features refer to the specific wear phenomena that are described in terms of the relevant modes, mechanisms, and damage. Clarifying examples are presented, but it is expected that terms will be added to the lexicon as new mechanisms and types of damage are identified. Corrosion refers to electrochemical processes that can remove or add material and thus also generate damage. Corrosion can act alone or may interact with mechanical wear. Examples of corrosion damage are also presented. However, an in‐depth discussion of the many types of corrosion and their effects is beyond the scope of the present wear lexicon.

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