4 years ago

Microstructure and Surface Damage in Retrieved Metal-on-Metal Hip Arthroplasties

Besides promising results of metal-on-metal (MOM) hip arthroplasty (HA), frequent failures have been reported even in the short term. Many host, surgical, design, metallurgical, and processing factors have been evoked in the base of these events. We have tried to characterize and to evaluate metallurgical and processing features present in this type of implants. Methods The acetabular and femoral components of 20 MOM HAs collected from a multicenter retrieval program were examined. All the specimens were inspected with naked eye, with confocal microscopy and vertical scanning interferometry, scanning electron microscopy, back-scattered electron imaging, and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, in 25 zones of each articular component. Results Gas pores, shrinkage voids and holes of detached carbides, carbides on surface, embedded particles, scratches and marks of wear, surface discoloration, surface deposits, and tribochemical reaction layers were widely dispersed through a substantial percentage of the total bearing surface in all the implanted components. Surface cup and head voids, and cup scratches showed significant correlation with the clearance of pair. A higher surface damage of the cup and head was observed mainly in the low clearance prostheses. There was no other significant correlation or difference in the incidence and importance of any of these defects between resurfacing hip arthroplasties and total hip arthroplasties, or according to the pair diameter. Conclusion Some metallurgical features and surface damage were significantly present in the retrieved implants of MoM HAs. It would be desirable to improve the structure and metallurgical characteristics of these implants to avoid those effects and optimize their performance.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0883540317305739

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