Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research: May 2010 - Volume 468 - Issue 5 - p 1296–1304 doi: 10.1007/s11999-009-1179-x CLINICAL RESEARCH

Weight of Polyethylene Wear Particles is Similar in TKAs with Oxidized Zirconium and Cobalt-chrome Prostheses

Kim, Young-Hoo, MD1, a; Kim, Jun-Shik, MD1; Huh, Wansoo, PhD2; Lee, Kwang-Hoon, MS2
Knee

Background The greater lubricity and resistance to scratching of oxidized zirconium femoral components are expected to result in less polyethylene wear than cobalt-chrome femoral components.

Questions/purposes We examined polyethylene wear particles in synovial fluid and compared the weight, size (equivalent circle diameter), and shape (aspect ratio) of polyethylene wear particles in knees with an oxidized zirconium femoral component with those in knees with a cobalt-chrome femoral component.

Patients and Methods One hundred patients received an oxidized zirconium femoral component in one knee and a cobalt-chrome femoral component in the other. There were 73 women and 27 men with a mean age of 55.6 years (range, 44-60 years). The minimum followup was 5 years (mean, 5.5 years; range, 5-6 years). Polyethylene wear particles were analyzed using thermogravimetric methods and scanning electron microscopy.

 

Results The weight of polyethylene wear particles produced at the bearing surface was 0.0223 ± 0.0054 g in 1 g synovial fluid in patients with an oxidized zirconium femoral component and 0.0228 ± 0.0062 g in patients with a cobalt-chrome femoral component. Size and shape of polyethylene wear particles were 0.59 ± 0.05 μm and 1.21 ± 0.24, respectively, in the patients with an oxidized zirconium femoral component and 0.52 ± 0.03 μm and 1.27 ± 0.31, respectively, in the patients with a cobalt-chrome femoral component. Knee Society knee and function scores, radiographic results, and complication rate were similar between the knees with an oxidized zirconium and cobalt-chrome femoral component.

 

Conclusions The weight, size, and shape of polyethylene wear particles were similar in the knees with an oxidized zirconium and a cobalt-chrome femoral component. We found the theoretical advantages of this surface did not provide the actual advantage.

 

Level of Evidence Level I, therapeutic study. See the guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.


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