Effect of femoral head size on wear of the polyethylene acetabular component.

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A technique was developed to determine the wear of the acetabular component of a total hip replacement by examination of standardized initial and follow-up radiographs. Three hundred and eighty-five hips were followed for at least 9.5 years after replacement. The least amount and rate of linear wear were associated with use of a femoral head that had a diameter of twenty-eight millimeters (p less than 0.001). The greatest amount and mean rate of linear wear occurred with twenty-two-millimeter components, but these differences were not statistically significant. The greatest volumetric wear and mean rate rate of volumetric wear were seen with thirty-two-millimeter components (p less than 0.001). A wider radiolucent line in acetabular Zone 1 was associated with use of the thirty-two-millimeter head. The amounts of resorption of the proximal part of the femoral neck and of lysis of the proximal part of the femur both correlated positively with the extent of linear and volumetric wear; this suggests an association between the amount of debris from wear and these changes in the femoral neck and proximal part of the femur.

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