Total hip arthroplasty (THA) remains a successful procedure for most patients. However, there is a paucity of information regarding the long-term performance of conventional polyethylene (CPE) bearings in young patients undergoing THA.After accounting for incomplete follow-up of a prospective cohort of 123 THAs in patients =50 years, we performed a retrospective review of 101 hips in 84 patients (82.1%) with an average 17.1-year follow-up (14.7-19.6 years). Outcomes of interest included linear and volumetric wear, clinical outcome scores, implant survivorship, and patient mortality. Wear rates were calculated using Martell Software.Wear analysis revealed median linear and volumetric wear rates of 0.106 mm/y (confidence interval, 0.079-0.133) and 43.58 mm3/y (confidence interval, 33.4-53.75). The modified Harris hip scores improved by 36 points while University of California, Los Angeles activity scores improved by 2.0 points at 15-year follow-up (P < .0001). Twenty-two hips (21.8%) were revised, 13 of which (12.8%) were for wear-related causes at an average of 14.9 years (range, 9.2-21 years) from index arthroplasty. There was significantly higher mortality in patients with a preoperative diagnosis of inflammatory avascular necrosis (P = .015).Because CPE was commonly used in THA over the last 25 years, it is important to understand its implications on the growing revision burden. Significant concerns exist with regard to the long-term durability of CPE bearings in young, moderately active patients 15 years after THA. These patients should be followed closely for wear-related problems. Our results should be used as a comparison when evaluating the outcomes of more modern bearing surface combinations.
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