The Journal of Arthroplasty , Volume 33 , Issue 8 , 2677 - 2683

Are Radiographic and Direct Measures of Acetabular Polyethylene Wear Comparable?

Parran, Krista K. et al.


All polyethylene acetabular liners wear over time, and numerous methods for calculating linear wear rates exist. The objective of this study was to compare 2-dimensional wear rates between direct, micrometer measurements and the computerized, edge-detection method using Hip Analysis Suite (HAS)


Two groups of retrieved acetabular liners from Harris-Galante Prosthesis I and Harris-Galante Prosthesis II implants in situ for more than 10 years were evaluated. Group 1 (n = 18) contained liners with both early postoperative (<6 months) and prerevision radiographs taken within 1 month of explantation. Group 2 (n = 55) included liners with only prerevision X-rays (ie, 1 radiograph for wear assessment). Average and maximum direct linear wear was calculated from thicknesses measured at 6 consistent, well-separated locations (3 in the worn and 3 in the unworn regions) using a calibrated, digital micrometer. HAS was used to calculate 2-dimensional wear from anteroposterior pelvic radiographs.


Aggregate wear rates calculated by HAS were higher than those calculated by the average of direct measurements for group 1 (P = .020) and group 2 (P < .001). However, comparing the maximum direct micrometer measurements to HAS showed no difference for either group 1 (P = .351) or group 2 (P = .451). Linear regression analysis showed a strong correlation between HAS and both average and maximum direct wear measures for both groups, though the coefficient for the direct maximum measurement comparisons were closer to one, indicating a better one-to-one correspondence between HAS and direct maximum wear.


To our knowledge, this is the first study to compare and validate 2-dimensional wear rates in polyethylene acetabular liners between direct measurements from retrieved components and a radiographic computer-assisted technique (as opposed to comparison against a phantom component). Wear rates determined by direct measurements from retrievals were consistent with computer-assisted 2-dimensional methods when comparing maximum wear measurements. In addition, a single prerevision radiograph appears to be sufficient to assess 2-dimensional in vivo wear.

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