Reducing Wear Using the Ceramic Surface on Oxidized Zirconium Heads

  • V. Good
  • K. Widding
  • D. Heuer
  • G. Hunter
Conference paper
Part of the Ceramics in Orthopaedics book series (CIO)


Wear-related complications remain a major cause of revisions following total hip arthroplasty. Oxide ceramic modular heads were introduced as an alternative to metallic cobalt-chromium (CoCr) heads because their surfaces are more abrasion-resistant and produce less friction, thereby reducing abrasive and adhesive wear of the opposing polyethylene[1]. The use of oxide ceramic heads can reduce wear by 25 to 50% [2, 3, 4, 5]. Oxidized zirconium (OxZr) was introduced as a way to provide these advantages in wear performance without the risks associated with brittle fracture of monolithic ceramics[6]. Thermally driven oxygen diffusion transforms just the metallic zirconium alloy surface into a durable, stable, low-friction oxide[7, 8, 9]. Thus, OxZr provides the benefits of ceramic wear behavior along with the mechanical properties of metal [10, 11]. This study assessed the wear properties of OxZr and CoCr heads against highly crosslinked polyethylene (XPE) that was irradiated at 10 Mrad and melt-annealed, as well as non-crosslinked polyethylene (NPE) that was not irradiated.


Wear Debris Adhesive Wear Ceramic Surface Wear Performance Volumetric Wear 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • V. Good
  • K. Widding
  • D. Heuer
  • G. Hunter

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