Shorter, Rough Trunnion Surfaces are Associated With Higher Taper Wear Rates Than Longer, Smooth Trunnion Surfaces in a Contemporary Large Head Metal-on-Metal Total Hip Arthroplasty System

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Taper wear at the head-neck junction is a possible cause of early failure in large head metal-on-metal (LH-MoM) hip replacements. We hypothesized that: (i) taper wear may be more pronounced in certain product designs; and (ii) an increased abductor moment arm may be protective. The tapers of 104 explanted LH-MoM hip replacements revised for adverse reaction to metal debris (ARMD) from a single manufacturer were analyzed for linear and volumetric wear using a co-ordinate measuring machine. The mated stem was a shorter 12/14, threaded trunnion (n = 72) or a longer, smooth 11/13 trunnion (n = 32). The abductor moment arm was calculated from pre-revision radiographs. Independent predictors of linear and volumetric wear included taper angle, stem type, and the horizontal moment arm. Tapers mated with the threaded 12/14 trunnion had significantly higher rates of volumetric wear (0.402 mm3/yr vs. 0.123 mm3/yr [t = −2.145, p = 0.035]). There was a trend to larger abductor moment arms being protective (p = 0.055). Design variation appears to play an important role in taper-trunnion junction failure. We recommend that surgeons bear these findings in mind when considering the use of a short, threaded trunnion with a cobalt-chromium head. © 2015 Orthopaedic Research Society. Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Orthop Res 33:1868–1874, 2015.

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