Introduction Wear and survival of total joint replacements do not depend on the duration of the implant in situ, but rather on the amount of its use, i.e. the patient's activity level . With this in mind, the present study was driven by two questions: (1) How does total knee replacement (TKR) respond to the simulation of daily highly demanding activities? (2) How does implant size affect wear response of total knee replacement (TKR)? Materials & Methods Two sets of the same total knee prosthesis (TKP), different in size (#2 and #6), equal in design, were tested on a three-plus-one knee joint simulator for two million cycles using a highly demanding daily load waveform , replicating a stair-climbing movement. The results were compared with two sets of TKP previously tested with the ISO level walking task. Gravimetric and micro-Raman spectroscopic analyses were carried out on the polyethylene inserts. Visual comparison with in vivo explants was carried out and digital microscopy was used to characterize the superficial structure of all the TKPs and explanted components. Results The average volumetric loss of the UHMWPE inserts tested for 2Mc under ISO standard level walking were 21.36 ±1 mm3 and 41 ±2 mm3 for the size #2 and size #6, respectively. The average volumetric mass loss after two million cycles for the size #2 under the stair climbing simulation was 44 ±6 mm3. Microscope examinations showed some deep scratches along the flexion/extension movements for all the components. A decrease in crystallinity, induced by mechanical stress was observed on all polyethylene components and was quantitatively confirmed by the orthorhombic fraction αo value. Conclusion These preliminary results showed that under more severe conditions for size #2, the material properties change according to a different wear mechanism and a decrease in crystallinity occurs. Under the ISO 14243-2 load profile, an increase in crystallinity was observed; whereas under the more demanding conditions, a decrease in crystallinity occurs. Analyses on the size #6 component are in progress.
|Journal||Bone and Joint Journal|
|Publication status||Published - May 3 2016|