A dynamic model of polyethylene damage in dry total hip arthroplasties: wear and creep

  • Ehsan Askari
  • Michael S. Andersen


The creep and wear of ultra-high-weight polyethylene hip prostheses under physiological conditions are studied in the present research work. A fully integrated contact-coupled dynamic model based upon multibody dynamics methodology is developed, allowing the evaluation of not only sliding distance, but also contact mechanics as well as cross-shear effects and both average pressure and in-service duration associated with the creep phenomenon. In vivo forces and motions of hip joint are used as input for the dynamic simulation, which result in more realistic contact point trajectory and contact pressure, and consequently wear and creep, compared to simplified inputs. The analysis also takes into account inertia forces due to hip motion, tribological properties of bearing bodies, and energy loss owing to contact-impact events. The principal molecular orientation (PMO) of the polyethylene cup is determined through an iterative algorithm and dynamic outcomes. Archard’s wear law is also integrated into the multibody dynamics model for wear prediction in hip implants. Creep, besides wear, is attributed to polyethylene damage, which is investigated by implementing a creep model extracted from experimental data. The model is validated using clinical data and numerical results available from previously published studies. It is shown that creep plays a significant role in hip damage along with wear, both of which can be influenced by hip parameters, e.g., hip and clearance sizes. Moreover, the creep mechanism according to creep experiment is discussed, and contributing factors to the wear phenomenon are analyzed throughout this study.


Multibody dynamics Tribology Total hip replacement Contact mechanics 



This work was supported by the Sapere Aude program of the Danish Council for Independent Research under grant number DFF-4184-00018.


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Materials and ProductionAalborg UniversityAalborgDenmark

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