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A quantitative technique for reporting surface degradation patterns of UHMWPE components of retrieved total knee replacements

, : A quantitative technique for reporting surface degradation patterns of UHMWPE components of retrieved total knee replacements. Journal of Applied Biomaterials 6(1): 9-18

A quantitative method of reporting surface degradation of the ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) tibial component from retrieved total knee replacements (TKR) was developed. Specific features include a qualitative assessment expressing the patterns in which the damage was detected as well as a quantitative summary of the observed degradation mechanisms. In addition, a method of measuring lower limb alignment changes with time is described and related to the observed damage patterns. Two case studies are presented. One case illustrated that changes in alignment resulted from factors other than wear. The damage observed on the tibial plateau appeared to occur subsequent to the changes in alignment. The second case illustrated that the wear of the UHMWPE tibial insert lead to the changes in the overall lower limb alignment. The methods described provide additional information regarding TKR failure mechanisms compared to reporting methods currently available. In particular, the collection of temporal alignment data at clinical follow-up visits enhanced the assessment of the retrieved TKR.


PMID: 7703542

DOI: 10.1002/jab.770060103

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