Thirty years of experience with alumina-on-alumina bearings in total hip arthroplasty
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- Hannouche, D., Zaoui, A., Zadegan, F. et al. International Orthopaedics (SICOT) (2011) 35: 207. doi:10.1007/s00264-010-1187-1
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Alumina-on-alumina bearings in total hip arthroplasty have been developed in an attempt to minimise debris and the occurrence of osteolytic lesions. The outstanding tribological properties of this bearing system are explained by low surface roughness, high hardness for major scratch resistance, and high wettability. Since the 1970s, technological improvements in the manufacturing process of alumina components together with a better understanding of Morse taper technology have provided a surgical grade material with high density, high purity and small grains. Published studies on the outcome of total hip arthroplasty performed with this new generation of implants showed high survivorship especially in young and active patients, with survival rates free of revision of 90.8% to 97.4% at ten years. However, concern remains over ceramic liner fracture and squeaking, which has been noted recently with increasing prevalence. This review will discuss the current knowledge on the use of alumina-on-alumina bearings.