Polyethylene and metal debris generated by non-articulating surfaces of modular acetabular components

O. L. Huk, M. Bansal, F. Betts, C. M. Rimnac, J. R. Lieberman, M. H. Huo, E. A. Salvati

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142 Scopus citations

Abstract

We report a prospective study of the liner-metal interfaces of modular uncemented acetabular components as sources of debris. We collected the pseudo membrane from the screw-cup junction and the empty screw holes of the metal backing of 19 acetabula after an average implantation of 22 months. Associated osteolytic lesions were separately collected in two cases. The back surfaces of the liners and the screws were examined for damage, and some liners were scanned by electron microscopy. The tissues were studied histologically and by atomic absorption spectrophotometry to measure titanium content. The pseudomembrane from the screw-cup junction contained polyethylene debris in seven specimens and metal debris in ten. The material from empty screw holes was necrotic tissue or dense fibroconnective tissue with a proliferative histiocytic infiltrate and foreign-body giant-cell reaction. It contained polyethylene debris in 14 cases and metal in five. The two acetabular osteolytic lesions also showed a foreign-body giant-cell reaction to particulate debris. The average titanium levels in pseudomembranes from the screw-cup junction and the empty screw holes were 959 μg/g (48 to 11900) and 74 μg/g (0.72 to 331) respectively. The tissue from the two lytic lesions showed average titanium levels of 139 and 147 μg/g respectively. The back surfaces of the PE; liners showed surface deformation, burnishing, and embedded metal debris. All 30 retrieved screws demonstrated fretting at the base of the head and on the proximal shaft. Non-articular modular junctions create new interfaces for the generation of particulate debris, which may cause granulomatous reaction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)568-574
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Bone and Joint Surgery - Series B
Volume76
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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