A review of wear debris in thumb base joint implants. European journal of orthopaedic surgery & traumatology : orthopedie traumatologie Mangan, F., Spece, H., Weiss, A. C., Ladd, A. L., Stockmans, F., Kurtz, S. M. 2023


Polymers and metals, such as polyethylene (PE) and cobalt chrome (CoCr), are common materials used in thumb-based joint implants, also known as CMC (Carpometacarpal) arthroplasty. The purpose of this review was to investigate the reported failure modes related to wear debris from these type of materials in CMC implants. The impact of wear debris on clinical outcomes of CMC implants was also examined. Potential adverse wear conditions and inflammatory particle characteristics were also considered.A literature search was performed using PRISMA guidelines and 55 studies were reviewed including 49 cohort studies and 6 case studies. Of the 55 studies, 38/55 (69%) focused on metal-on-polyethylene devices, followed by metal-on-metal (35%), and metal-on-bone (4%).The summarized data was used to determine the frequency of failure modes potentially related to wear debris from metals and/or polymers. The most commonly reported incidents potentially relating to debris were implant loosening (7.1%), osteolysis (1.2%) and metallosis (0.6%). Interestingly the reported mechanisms behind osteolysis and loosening greatly varied. Inflammatory reactions, while rare, were generally attributed to metallic debris from metal-on-metal devices. Mechanisms of adverse wear conditions included implant malpositioning, over-tensioning, high loading for active patients, third-body debris, and polyethylene wear-through. No specific examination of debris particle characterization was found, pointing to a gap in the literature.This review underscores the types of failure modes associated with wear debris in CMC implants. It was found that failure rates and adverse wear conditions of CMC implants of any design are low and the exact relationship between wear debris and implant incidences, such as osteolysis and loosening remains uncertain. The authors note that further research and specific characterization is required to understand the relationship between debris and implant failure.

View details for DOI 10.1007/s00590-023-03622-x

View details for PubMedID 37439887

View details for PubMedCentralID 8183150