Measurement of polyethylene wear in cementless total hip arthroplasty

Chun Hsiung Shih*, Po Cheng Lee, Jian Horng Chen, Ching Lung Tai, Li Fan Chen, J. Shih Shyn Wu, Walter H. Chang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

56 Scopus citations


We made a clinical study of polyethylene wear in 240 hips of 187 patients having primary total hip arthroplasties from 1989 to 1990, using uncemented Osteonics components, with a head size of 26 mm. We excluded cups with anteversion of over 20°and measured linear wear by a new method using a digitiser and special software of our design. Follow-up was from two to five years (mean 4.3). The mean age at operation was 50.3 years, with more men than women (1.4:1). The mean linear wear per year was 0.15mm; this did not increase with the longevity of the prosthesis (p = 0.54). In 59 hips showing evidence of osteolysis, the mean linear wear rate was significantly higher at 0.23 mm/year (p < 0.001). The mean linear wear rate also correlated significantly with age at the time of operation (p = 0.008), but we found no significant correlations with body-weight, gender, aetiology of the disease, thickness of polyethylene, or cup position. Our new method of measurement is time-saving and reproducible. The results confirm the greater rate of linear wear of polyethylene in patients showing osteolysis and in those who are younger.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)361-365
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Bone and Joint Surgery - Series B
Issue number3
StatePublished - 05 1997


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