State of the art in hard-on-hard bearings: how did we get here and what have we achieved?

Expert Review of Medical Devices
M G ZywielMichael A Mont

Abstract

Total hip arthroplasty has shown excellent results in decreasing pain and improving function in patients with degenerative disease of the hip. Improvements in prosthetic materials, designs and implant fixation have now resulted in wear of the bearing surface being the limitation of this technology, and a number of hard-on-hard couples have been introduced to address this concern. The purpose of this article is to review the origins, development, survival rates and potential advantages and disadvantages of the following hard-on-hard bearings for total hip arthroplasty: metal-on-metal standard total hip arthroplasty; metal-on-metal hip resurfacing arthroplasty, ceramic-on-ceramic total hip arthroplasty; and ceramic-on-metal bearings. Improvements in the manufacturing of metal-on-metal bearings over the past 50 years have resulted in implants that provide low wear rates and allow for the use of large femoral heads. However, concerns remain regarding elevated serum metal ion levels, potential teratogenic effects and potentially devastating adverse local tissue reactions, whose incidence and pathogenesis remains unclear. Modern total hip resurfacing has shown excellent outcomes over 10 years in the hands of experienced surgeons. Cur...Continue Reading

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