Incidence and Characteristics of Osteolysis in HXLPE THA at 16-Year Follow up in Patients 50 Years and Less

Richard D. Rames, Travis J. Hillen, Gail E. Pashos, William J. Maloney, John C. Clohisy

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9 Scopus citations


Introduction: Young patients present a challenge for total hip arthroplasty (THA) survivorship. Highly cross-linked polyethylene (HXLPE) liners have decreased the prevalence of osteolysis; however, concerns exist regarding the biologic activity of wear particles. The purpose of this study was to determine the incidence and characteristics of osteolytic lesions in young HXLPE THA patients at an average 16-year follow up and determine the ability to detect osteolysis. Methods: We performed a retrospective study involving 22 patients (26 THA) under age 50 at primary THA receiving HXLPE liners coupled with cobalt-chrome (CoCr) femoral heads. Computed tomography (CT) scans were reviewed for osteolysis. Chi-squared analysis was used for categorical variables and unpaired Kruskal-Wallis rank-sum test for continuous variables. Logistic regression was used to compare wear rates between those patients with and without osteolysis. Results: The mean age at surgery was 38.5 years. The mean time from surgery to CT scan was sixteen years (range 14.25–19.5 years). Nine of the 26 THA showed osteolysis. The mean volume of the lesions was 2.8 cm3. Linear (mean 0.008 mm/y) and volumetric (mean 4.5 mm3/year) wear rates were negligible. One-third of osteolytic lesions were visible on radiographs. Logistic regression failed to demonstrate a correlation between wear rates or UCLA activity score and osteolysis. Conclusion: We observed osteolysis in 35% of HXLPE THA in young patients at mean 16-year follow up despite zero revisions for wear-related problems and clinically insignificant wear rates. Level of Evidence: IV.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)641-646
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Arthroplasty
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2021


  • bearing couple
  • osteolysis
  • primary total hip arthroplasty
  • wear
  • young patient


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