© 2010 Orthopaedic Research Society. Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Orthop Res 28:979–985, 2010

In vitro investigation of friction under edge‐loading conditions for ceramic‐on‐ceramic total hip prosthesis

Elhadi Sariali Todd Stewart Zhongming Jin John Fisher

Edge‐loading generates higher wear rates in ceramic‐on‐ceramic total hip prosthesis (THP). To investigate the friction coefficient (FC) in these conditions, three alumina ceramic (Biolox Forte) 32 mm‐diameter components were tested using a hip friction simulator. The cup was positioned with a 75° abduction angle to achieve edge‐loading conditions. The motion was first applied along the edge and then across the edge of the cup. First, tests were conducted under lubricated conditions with 25% bovine serum. Next, to simulate an extremely high contact pressure, the tests were run with the addition of a third body alumina ceramic chip inserted between the edge of the cup and the head. Engineering blue was used to analyze the contact area. Reference values were determined using a 0° cup abduction angle. Edge loading was achieved. The FC increased by three‐ to sixfold when the motion was applied along the edge, and by 70% when the motion was applied across the edge. However, the FC value was still low (about 0.1), which is similar to metal‐on‐metal THP. With the third body alumina ceramic particle inserted, the FC was 26 times higher than in the ideal conditions and intermittent squeaking occurred. High cup abduction angles may generate edge‐loading and an increase in the friction coefficient for ceramic THP.

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