The Journal of Arthroplasty, Volume 34, Issue 6, 1143 - 1149

Fifteen-Year Results of Total Hip Arthroplasty With Cobalt-Chromium Femoral Heads on Highly Cross-Linked Polyethylene in Patients 50 Years and Less

Rames, Richard D. et al.


Highly cross-linked polyethylene (HXLPE) is the most commonly used bearing surface in total hip arthroplasty (THA) because of its superior wear properties, but long-term results in young patients are limited. Mid-term survivorship has been promising; however, polyethylene wear rates and need for revision surgeries remain a concern in this population. The purpose of our study is to investigate polyethylene wear rates, implant survivorship, wear-related revisions, and patient-reported outcomes in a young patient cohort at 15-year follow-up.


We performed a retrospective study of a prospective longitudinal cohort of 82 consecutive patients (89 hips) who underwent primary THA with an HXLPE acetabular liner and a cobalt-chromium femoral head. The mean age at the time of surgery for the cohort was 38.8 years (range 12-50). All patients received HXLPE liners with a cementless acetabular component coupled with a cobalt-chrome femoral head through a posterior approach with a cementless femoral component. All components were from a single manufacturer. We recorded University of California, Los Angeles Activity, and modified Harris Hip Scores. Wear calculations were made using the Martell Hip Analysis Suite (Version


At average 15 years (range 13.1-18.5), there was a revision-free survivorship of 97.8% in our HXLPE group with no wear-related revisions. We observed a linear wear rate of 0.0185 mm/y (standard deviation 0.05) after accounting for a 1-year bedding-in period. The volumetric wear rate was found to be 12.80 mm3/y (standard deviation 22.69). These numbers are registered as clinically undetectable and are comparable to steady state wear rates in the same cohort of patients at earlier time points. We found no radiographic changes concerning osteolysis. We observed excellent patient-reported outcomes at this time point with improvements in modified Harris Hip Scores (35.3 [22.5], P< .0001) and University of California, Los Angeles Activity Scores (median 6.0, P < .0001).


At 15-year follow-up, we demonstrated that HXLPE bearings in this young cohort had excellent wear properties, maintained superior clinical improvements, and underwent no wear-related revision operations. The HXLPE and cobalt-chrome bearing couple continues to be extremely effective 15 years after primary THA in patients less than 50 years.

Level of Evidence


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