What factors drive polyethylene wear in total knee arthroplasty? RESULTS OF A LARGE RETRIEVAL SERIES

J. H. Currier, B. H. Currier, M. P. Abdel, D. J. Berry, A. J. Titus, D. W. van Citters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aims Wear of the polyethylene (PE) tibial insert of total knee arthroplasty (TKA) increases the risk of revision surgery with a significant cost burden on the healthcare system. This study quantifies wear performance of tibial inserts in a large and diverse series of retrieved TKAs to evaluate the effect of factors related to the patient, knee design, and bearing material on tibial insert wear performance. Methods An institutional review board-approved retrieval archive was surveyed for modular PE tibial inserts over a range of in vivo duration (mean 58 months (0 to 290)). Five knee designs, total-ling 1,585 devices, were studied. Insert wear was estimated from measured thickness change using a previously published method. Linear regression statistical analyses were used to test association of 12 patient and implant design variables with calculated wear rate. Results Five patient-specific variables and seven implant-specific variables were evaluated for significant association with lower insert wear rate. Six were significant when controlling for other factors: greater patient age, female sex, shorter duration in vivo, polished tray, highly cross-linked PE (HXLPE), and constrained knee design. Conclusion This study confirmed that knee wear rate increased with duration in vivo. Older patients and females had significantly lower wear rates. Polished modular tibial tray surfaces, HXLPE, and constrained TKA designs were device design factors associated with significantly reduced wear rate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1695-1701
Number of pages7
JournalBone and Joint Journal
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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