Brown, Leigh, Zhang, H., Blunt, Liam and Barrans, Simon (2007) Reproduction of fretting wear at the stem—cement interface in total hip replacement. Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part H: Journal of Engineering in Medicine, 221 (8). pp. 963-971. ISSN 0954-4119

The stem-cement interface experiences fretting wear in vivo due to low-amplitude oscillatory micromotion under physiological loading, as a consequence it is considered to play an important part in the overall wear of cemented total hip replacement. Despite its potential significance, in-vitro simulation to reproduce fretting wear has seldom been attempted and even then with only limited success. In the present study, fretting wear was successfully reproduced at the stem-cement interface through an in-vitro wear simulation, which was performed in part with reference to ISO 7206-4: 2002. The wear locations compared well with the results of retrieval studies. There was no evidence of bone cement transfer films on the stem surface and no fatigue cracks in the cement mantle. The cement surface was severely damaged in those areas in contact with the fretting zones on the stem surface, with retention of cement debris in the micropores. Furthermore, it was suggested that these micropores contributed to initiation and propagation of fretting wear. This study gave scope for further comparative study of the influence of stem geometry, stem surface finish, and bone cement brand on generation of fretting wear.


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