New experience with alumina-on-alumina ceramic bearings for total hip arthroplasty

James D'Antonio, William Capello, Michael Manley, Benjamin Bierbaum
Journal of Arthroplasty 2002, 17 (4): 390-7
A major challenge for total hip arthroplasty is to minimize wear and osteolysis in young, active patients. Alumina ceramic bearings have shown superior wear resistance and lubrication and do not carry the risk of ion release. In a prospective randomized study, 514 hips were implanted. All patients (average age, 53 years) received the same press-fit hydroxyapatite coated femoral stem; two thirds (345 hips) received alumina ceramic bearings, and one third (169 hips) received a cobalt-chrome-on-polyethylene bearing. At a mean follow-up of 35.2 months (range, 24-48 months), there was no significant difference in clinical performance between the patient cohorts. No ceramic fracture or alumina ceramic bearing failure occurred. This new experience involves the use of improved ceramic materials and new design considerations that eliminate the risks and complications of past experiences with ceramic implants and provides a safe bearing option for young patients.

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