Journal of Orthopaedic Research Volume 38, Issue 7 p. 1587-1595

The effect of structural parameters of total hip arthroplasty on polyethylene liner wear behavior: A theoretical model analysis

Guoan Li Yun Peng Chaochao Zhou Zhongmin Jin Hany Bedair

Using large femoral heads in total hip arthroplasty (THA) has been widely advocated to improve the function and longevity of the components. However, increasing the head size has been shown to accelerate polyethylene liner wear. Few studies have investigated the effect of other important structural parameters (such as polyethylene liner thickness, metal cup size, head‐liner conformity, loading conditions, etc.) on the biomechanical functions of the THAs. In this study, an analytical model was used to evaluate the polyethylene liner wear characteristics of the THAs (defined using a biomechanical wear factor) with various structural parameters of the THAs and loading conditions. For all the THA systems examined in this study, under the same loading conditions, a larger head leads to increasing contact areas, lower contact stresses, and higher biomechanical wear factors. When the head size is fixed, a decrease in the polyethylene liner thickness or a decrease in the head‐liner conformity leads to higher peak contact stresses and smaller contact areas and consequently, lower biomechanical wear factors. This study provides a parametric analysis tool for the optimal design/selection of the THA systems and for prediction of early effects of various structural parameters on the biomechanical function (such as contact stresses) and longevity (such as polyethylene liner wear) of the THA systems.

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