The incidence of hip replacements in the younger patient is ever increasing. With this in mind, improving the longevity of hip arthroplasties is paramount. Alumina ceramic is a promising bearing surface due to its low wear rate and biological inertness.
This study aims to review our experience with ceramic-on-ceramic total hip arthroplasty, reporting on the need for revision as well as the cause of failure. Our secondary purpose is to review our experience with the phenomenon of squeaking analyzing and its effect on clinical outcome with specific emphasis on component positioning. Also reported are the results of our retrieval analysis of explanted components documenting the wear rate and our analysis of strip wear.
A consecutive series of 301 primary cementless alumina-on-alumina total hip arthroplasties at a minimum of 10 years follow-up was reviewed. These arthroplasties all had third-generation ceramic-on-ceramic bearings performed through a posterior approach with repair of capsule and external rotators to bone. We analyzed hips both clinically and radiographically. Analysis of wear in 62 ceramic bearings was performed using a Round-test RA300 machine (Mitutoyo; Andover, UK), which has an accuracy of 0.01 μm.
Overall, the survival rate of the implants was 98% at 10 years. No ceramic fractures were encountered in this study. Seventy-four patients reported squeaking hips, and two cases were revised due to squeaking (0.6%). No failures were related to bearing wear.
We believe that ceramic-on-ceramic is a safe bearing coupling with excellent survivorship at 10 years.