Ceramic Bearings for Total Hip Arthroplasty Have High Survivorship at 10 Years
Ceramic bearings were introduced to reduce wear and increase long-term survivorship of total hip arthroplasty. In a previous study comparing ceramic with metal-on-polyethylene at 5 to 8 years, we found higher survivorship and no osteolysis for the ceramic bearings.
We asked whether ceramic bearings have equal or superior survivorship compared with that for metal-on-polyethylene at longer followup; we also determined survivorship of the implant systems, the presence or absence of radiographic osteolysis, and incidence of device squeaking.
Five surgeons at five sites have followed 189 patients (216 hips) for a minimum of 10 years and average of 10.3 years (range, 10–12.4 years) comparing alumina ceramic bearings (144 hips) with cobalt chrome-on-polyethylene bearings (72 hips). We determined Kaplan-Meier survivorship of the bearing surface and implant systems and collected radiographic and clinical data.
We observed no difference between the control metal-on-polyethylene and the alumina-bearing couple cohorts with regard to bearing-related failures (98.9% versus 99.1%). Revisions for any reason occurred in 10.5% of the control patients and 3.1% of the patients with alumina bearings. All femoral implants remain well fixed (100%), whereas one acetabular component (1%) is unstable in the control group. Osteolysis occurred in 26% of the control patients and in none of the patients with alumina bearings. Squeaking occurred in two of 144 hips (1.4%) of the patients with ceramic bearings.
Patients receiving the ceramic-on-ceramic bearings had fewer revisions for any reason and less osteolysis than the control metal-on-polyethylene at 10 years. Our data suggest ceramic bearings continue to provide an option for the young and more active patient and provide for a measure to compare other new alternative bearings that are currently available.
Level of Evidence
Level I, therapeutic study. See Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.
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