The Journal of Arthroplasty, Volume 34, Issue 7, 1509 - 1513

Comparing In Vivo Performance of Two Highly Cross-Linked Polyethylene Thermal Treatments: Remelting vs Annealing in Acetabular Liners

Alison Suraci, Hakim Louati, Kathryn N. Culliton, Paul E. Beaulé
Hip

Background

The introduction of highly cross-linked polyethylene (HXLPE) acetabular liners has greatly improved the wear performance of metal-on-PE bearing surfaces used in total hip arthroplasty. Changing the sterilization environment and adding thermal treatments, such as remelting or annealing, were introduced to limit on-shelf and in vivo oxidation of cross-linked liners. This study compares the wear properties of the remelted A-CLASS (MicroPort) HXLPE liner to a sequentially annealed HXLPE.

Methods

This retrospective study assessed linear and volumetric wear rates using Martell Hip Analysis Suite, and clinical performance through incidences of revision surgeries. A total of 80 remelted and 53 annealed liners were included in the wear analysis. All hips were reviewed for revisions.

Results

There were no significant differences in steady-state linear or volumetric wear rates for remelted and annealed liners, 0.01 (−0.07 to 0.14) vs −0.01 (−0.11 to 0.1) mm/y (P = .28) and −1.03 (−30.99 to 45.43) vs −1.31 (−32.23 to 23.70) mm3/y (P = .30), respectively. Both cohorts were below the 0.1 mm/y linear wear threshold. The wear rates for patients with femoral head sizes ≥36 mm were not significantly different than those with 32 and 28 mm femoral head sizes (P = .60). Similarly, wear rates for patients with an excessively vertical acetabular component (>50°) were not significantly different than those with standard acetabular component orientations (P = .97). No hips were revised due to liner-related complications.

Conclusion

The wear rates of the A-CLASS remelted HXLPE acetabular liner wear rates were comparable to those of a sequentially annealed HXLPE. Further long-term studies are required to ensure acceptable resistance to fatigue and in vivo oxidation.

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