Background: Conventional polyethylene (CPE) was used widely in the past as a bearing surface in total hip arthroplasty (THA). As CPE THAs age and the revision burden continues to grow, it is increasingly important to understand the durability and failure mechanisms of this bearing material. Currently, such long-term data remain limited, particularly in younger, more active patients in whom wear issues are of greater concern. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed 90 hips (77 patients) that underwent primary THA with CPE bearings on cobalt chrome femoral heads at age ≤50 years at 20-year minimum follow-up (mean 21.6 [20-23]). We analyzed polyethylene wear rates, clinical outcomes (modified Harris Hip Score, University of California, Los Angeles Activity Score), and implant survivorship. Results: Wear analysis revealed a median linear wear rate of 0.113 mm/y (95% CI 0.102-0.148) and a median volumetric wear rate of 41.20 mm3/y (95% CI 43.5-61.0). Modified Harris Hip Scores remained 37 points above preoperative baseline (P < .001) and University of California, Los Angeles scores 1.4 points above baseline (P = .018) at 21.6-year mean follow-up. Twenty-nine hips (32.2%) were revised, 20 of which (22.2%) were wear-related at a median of 15.4 years (interquartile range 11.4-19.5). Survivorship free from wear-related revision was 95.6% (95% CI 88.7-98.3), 87.9% (78.6-93.3), 78.1% (49.6-66.5), and 61.1% (41.3-67.0) at 10, 15, 20, and 25 years. Conclusion: Wear-related issues developed at increasingly high rates after 15 years, suggesting the need for surveillance after this time. The long-term wear and survivorship data of this study may be used as a benchmark when evaluating the performance of contemporary bearings in young, active THA patients.
- total hip arthroplasty