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The use of highly crosslinked polyethylene (HXLPE) is now commonplace for total hip arthroplasty. Hip simulator studies and short-term in vivo measurements suggest that the wear rate of some types of HXLPE is significantly less than conventional ultrahigh-molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMWPE). However, there are few long-term data to support its use.The aim of this study was to measure the long-term steady-state wear of HXLPE compared with UHMWPE liners in a prospective, double-blind, randomized controlled trial using radiostereometric analysis.Fifty-four patients were randomized to receive hip arthroplasties with either UHMWPE liners or HXLPE liners. Complete followup was available on 39 of these patients (72%). All patients received the same cemented stem and an uncemented acetabular component. Three-dimensional penetration of the head into the socket was determined at 10 years using a radiostereometric analysis system, which has an in vivo accuracy of <0.1 mm. Oxford Hip Scores were compared between the groups.At 10 years there was significantly less wear of HXLPE (0.003 mm/year; 95% confidence interval [CI], ±0.010; SD 0.023; range, -0.057 to 0.074) compared with UHMWPE (0.030 mm/year; 95% CI, ±0.012; p<0.001; SD 0.0.27; range, -0.001 to 0.164). The volumetric penetration from 1 to 10 years for the UHMWPE group was 98 mm3 (95% CI, ±46 mm3; SD 102 mm3; range, -4 to 430 mm3) compared with 14 mm3 (95% CI, ±40 mm3; SD 91 mm3; range, -189 to 242 mm3) for the HXLPE group (p=0.01).This study demonstrates that HXLPE has little detectable steady-state in vivo wear. This may result in fewer reoperations from loosening; however, careful clinical followup into the second decade still needs to be performed.Level I, therapeutic study. See the Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

Original publication

DOI

10.1007/s11999-014-3735-2

Type

Journal article

Journal

Clinical orthopaedics and related research

Publication Date

02/2015

Volume

473

Pages

432 - 438

Addresses

Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences, NIHR Musculoskeletal Biomedical Research Unit, Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre, University of Oxford, Windmill Road, Oxford, OX3 7LD, UK.

Keywords

Humans, Prosthesis Failure, Polyethylenes, Polyethylene, Cross-Linking Reagents, Arthroplasty, Replacement, Hip, Follow-Up Studies, Double-Blind Method, Prosthesis Design, Surface Properties, Aged, Middle Aged, Female, Male, Radiostereometric Analysis