Squeaking in ceramic-on-ceramic hips: No evidence of contribution from the trunnion morse taper

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Abstract

Squeaking in ceramic-on-ceramic (CoC) total hip arthroplasty (THA) was investigated with an acoustic monitoring device to distinguish between squeaking emanating from the trunnion morse taper (TMT) connection versus the articular surface. 82 patients with implant problems scheduled for revision were selected and acoustic emissions (AE) with simple movements monitored. Five of these patients with CoC implants underwent surgery and their retrieved implant components were analyzed in vitro. In vivo recordings of all 82 patients found audible squeaks produce frequency content across the entire 0–50 kHz spectrum. Of the five CoC implants the in vivo peak frequency range of flexion/extension motions was 0.8 kHz and comparable to the range of in vitro testing (0.2 kHz). In vitro TMT connection motions were very large comparatively, producing a higher average peak frequency range of 22.5 kHz. All retrieved implants showed evidence of wear at the TMT connection. These findings suggest, the TMT connection does not directly cause audible squeaking. Wear occurring at this junction may contribute to debris which disrupt lubrication, increase friction, and produce noise. This observation supports current evidence suggesting that squeaking is from the bearing surface. Our findings are the first to demonstrate that in CoC THA the recordable noise of a hip squeak does not originate nor have contribution from the TMT connection. © 2016 Orthopaedic Research Society. Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Orthop Res

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