Thirteen-year wear rate comparison of highly crosslinked and conventional polyethylene in total hip arthroplasty: long-term follow-up of a prospective randomized controlled trial

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The purpose of this study was to report the radiographic wear rates from a previous randomized controlled trial of first-generation highly crosslinked versus conventional polyethylene in total hip arthroplasty (THA) at a minimum of 13 years’ follow-up.


Patients returned for radiographic imaging and radiostereometric analysis (RSA). Radiographs were reviewed for the presence of osteolysis or component loosening. Femoral head penetration (which includes both wear and creep) was measured using RSA. We compared Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC), 12-Item Short Form Health Survey (SF-12) and Harris Hip Scores (HHS) with preoperative values.


There was 1 revision in each group. There was no difference in WOMAC, SF-12, or HHS outcome scores between the highly crosslinked and conventional polyethylene groups (all p ≥ 0.13). Wear rate was lower with crosslinked polyethylene than conventional polyethylene (0.04 ± 0.02 mm/year v. 0.08 ± 0.03 mm/year, p = 0.007).


First-generation crosslinked polyethylene demonstrates greater wear resistance than conventional polyethylene after 13 years of implantation. Crosslinked polyethylene continues to outperform conventional polyethylene into the second decade of implantation.

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