Materials for Hip Prostheses: A Review of Wear and Loading Considerations.


Laboratorio di Tecnologia Medica, IRCCS-Istituto Ortopedico Rizzoli, Via di Barbiano, 1/10 40136 Bologna, Italy. [Email]


Replacement surgery of hip joint consists of the substitution of the joint with an implant able to recreate the articulation functionality. This article aims to review the current state of the art of the biomaterials used for hip implants. Hip implants can be realized with different combination of materials, such as metals, ceramics and polymers. In this review, we analyze, from international literature, the specific characteristics required for biomaterials used in hip joint arthroplasty, i.e., being biocompatible, resisting heavy stress, opposing low frictional forces to sliding and having a low wear rate. A commentary on the evolution and actual existing hip prostheses is proposed. We analyzed the scientific literature, collecting information on the material behavior and the human-body response to it. Particular attention has been given to the tribological behavior of the biomaterials, as friction and wear have been key aspects to improve as hip implants evolve. After more than 50 years of evolution, in term of designs and materials, the actual wear rate of the most common implants is low, allowing us to sensibly reduce the risk related to the widespread debris distribution in the human body.



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