Unilateral Tibial Polyethylene Liner Failure in Bilateral Total Knee Arthroplasty-Bilateral Retrieval Analysis at 8 Years

R. Stephen J. Burnett, Scott Biggerstaff, Barbara H. Currier, John P. Collier, Robert L. Barrack

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

This is a report of a unique case of bilateral simultaneous total knee arthroplasties in which one tibial liner failed dramatically, whereas the other liner showed minimal evidence of wear. This unique case allows isolation of component factors as the primary contributing etiology to failure. The differentiating characteristic was the method of sterilization and the shelf life of the polyethylene liner. The insert that showed minimal wear was sterilized with γ radiation in a barrier package and had a shelf life of less than 1 year, whereas the insert that failed dramatically was sterilized in air and had a shelf life of more than 5 years. This case provides a dramatic example of the potential detrimental effects of manufacturing details on the performance of orthopedic implants, particularly polyethylene inserts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)753-758
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Arthroplasty
Volume22
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2007

Keywords

  • gamma in air sterilization
  • oxidation
  • polyethylene
  • polyethylene wear
  • shelf-life
  • sterilization
  • total knee arthroplasty

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