The most critical factor in the development of periprosthetic osteolysis (OL) in total hip arthroplasty (THA) is the biological reaction to wear debris. This reaction is dependent, in part, on the size and concentration of particles, which are determined predominantly by the polyethylene (PE) wear rate. This implies that the risk for developing OL and prosthesis failure can be estimated from wear measurements. We developed a computational algorithm for calculating the total number of PE particles for volumetric wear when particle size and distribution are known. We found that: (i) total number of PE wear particles decreases up to 5 orders of magnitude if the average size of particles increases and the total volumetric wear remains constant; (ii) total amount of PE wear particles decreases up to 4 orders of magnitude if the width of the distribution increases and total volumetric wear remains constant; (iii) for the same volumetric wear, the number of particles significantly decreases/increases with the increase/decrease in their average size and range. These findings suggest that the risk for the development of OL in THA cannot be simply estimated from the volumetric wear alone.
View details for DOI 10.1002/jbm.b.31638
View details for PubMedID 20524192