The Journal of Arthroplasty, Volume 32, Issue 3, 1033 - 1039

Fretting and Corrosion at the Backside of Modular Cobalt Chromium Acetabular Inserts: A Retrieval Analysis

Tarity, T. David et al.


Adverse local tissue reaction formation has been suggested to occur with the Modular Dual Mobility (MDM) acetabular design. Few reports in the literature have evaluated fretting and corrosion damage between the acetabular shell and modular metal inserts in this modular system. We evaluated a series of 18 retrieved cobalt chromium MDM inserts for evidence of fretting and corrosion.


We assessed the backsides of 18 MDM components for evidence of fretting and corrosion in polar and taper regions based on previously established methods. We collected and assessed 30 similarly designed modular inserts retrieved from metal-on-metal (MoM) total hip arthroplasties as a control.


No specific pattern of fretting or corrosion was identified on the MDM inserts. Both fretting and corrosion were significantly greater in the MoM cohort than the MDM cohort, driven by higher fretting and corrosion scores in the engaged taper region of the MoM inserts.


MoM components demonstrated more fretting and corrosion than MDM designs, specifically at the taper region, likely driven by differences in the taper engagement mechanism and geometry among the insert designs. The lack of significant fretting and corrosion observed in the MDM inserts are inconsistent with recent claims that this interface may produce clinically significant metallosis and adverse local tissue reactions.

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