Highly Cross-Linked Polyethylene Bearing Surfaces in Total Hip Arthroplasty


Polyethylene wear-induced osteolysis is the most significant primary factor limiting the life span of total joint arthroplasty. To reduce ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) particulate wear debris, highly cross-linked polyethylene (HXPE) bearings have been introduced in total hip arthroplasty (THA). In vitro hip simulator wear studies with HXPE have demonstrated a decrease in volumetric wear at the hip by 42% to 100% when compared with conventional metal-on-polyethylene bearings. Early to intermediate clinical results suggest that the in vivo wear properties of HXPE products are superior to those of conventional UHMWPE. Second-generation HXPE materials that utilize alternate cross-linking and free radical quenching techniques have been developed and propose to further minimize wear and oxidation. (Journal of Surgical Orthopaedic Advances 17(1):27–33, 2008)

SKU: JSOA-2008-17-1-SP5 Categories: ,

Cesar Atienza, Jr., MD, and William J. Maloney, MD