Polyethylene Wear

  • James V. Bono
  • George Faithfull


Ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) possesses a unique blend of toughness, wear resistance, and biocompatibility.1,2 It has been the articular-bearing surface of choice against metal or ceramic since 1962.3 To date, it is still the best polymer available for joint implant use.4 However, with respect to long-term function and durability, just like the cartilage it replaces, its resistance to wear can be limited by the effects of aging and degradation. Failed total hip arthroplasties can occur as the result of infection, instability, component fracture, implant loosening, and prostheses malalignment. Polyethylene wear has become the limiting factor to long device lifetime in total hip arthroplasty, and it is becoming an increasing concern. The average long-term wear rate of Charnley acetabular cups, measured radi-ographically, has been reported to be 0.07 to 0.15 mm/year.5–12 Charnley and Halley13 described the average wear rate for a 22-mm stainless steel head against an all-polyethylene acetabular component.13


Total Knee Replacement Acetabular Component Ultrahigh Molecular Weight Polyethylene Polyethylene Wear Polyethylene Liner 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • James V. Bono
  • George Faithfull

There are no affiliations available

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