The Journal of Arthroplasty, Volume 27, Issue 1, 109 - 115

Comparison of Surface Characteristics of Retrieved Cobalt-Chromium Femoral Heads With and Without Ion Implantation

McGrory, Brian J. et al.

Nitrogen ion implantation of CoCr is reported to produce increased surface hardness and a lower friction surface. Femoral heads with and without ion implantation retrieved from 1997 to 2003 were evaluated for surface roughness (average surface roughness [Ra], mean peak height [Rpm], and maximum distance from peak to valley [Rmax]), nanohardness, and the ion-treated layer thickness. The difference in average Rmax (P = .033) and average Rpm (P = .008) was statistically significant, but there was no correlation between the average or maximum roughness parameters (average surface roughness, Rmax, and Rpm) and time in vivo (P > .05). Overall, nanohardness was greater for the low-friction ion-treated heads (P < .001); and it decreased with increasing time in vivo (P = .01). Ion treatment produces an increased surface hardness, but the advantage of this increased hardness appears to dissipate over time in vivo.

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