Biological Response to Particulate Debris from Nonmetallic Orthopedic Implants

  • Michael A. Pappas
  • Christopher C. Schmidt
  • Arun S. Shanbhag
  • Theresa A. Whiteside
  • Harry E. Rubash
  • James H. Herndon


Since their introduction in the 1960s, nonmetallic biomaterials, such as silicone rubber and polyethylene, have been used extensively in orthopedic surgery. Alfred Swanson introduced silicone rubber for small flexible joints, and John Charnley pioneered the use of polyethylene as the articulating surface for large, weight-bearing joint replacements. In spite of their recent association with failed breast implants and osteolysis in total joint arthroplasty, respectively, these materials have provided excellent service and improved the quality of life for many patients and for extended periods. Both of these materials in bulk form are biocompatible and essentially noninflammatory. However, the degradation products of these materials, i.e., wear particles, have been found to initiate and propagate a foreign-body response that leads to osteolysis and arthroplasty failure. In this chapter, we will discuss current concepts regarding the biological response to silicone rubber and polyethylene.


Aseptic Loosening Wear Debris Total Joint Arthroplasty Particulate Debris Silicone Implant 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael A. Pappas
  • Christopher C. Schmidt
  • Arun S. Shanbhag
  • Theresa A. Whiteside
  • Harry E. Rubash
  • James H. Herndon

There are no affiliations available

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