Tissue removed with human hip arthroplasties during revision surgery of 45 patients was evaluated by transmission electron microscopy and X -ray microanalysis (XRMA). The results show that microscopic and submicroscopic particles are abundantly present in the tissue at the tissue/implant interface. XRMA of individual particles shows that the chemical composition of a portion of the particles was in agreement with that of the retrieved implants. Regularly, particulates with a dissimilar chemical composition were found. Sometimes, these particles could be recognized as filler particles of the cements used. Other particles could partly or completely be composed of the chemical elements that were used to produce the implant, but the mutual proportion of these elements was different from that of the retrieved arthroplasties.
It is known that corrosion may provoke the selective release of metals from metal alloys in an ionic form. The corrosion weakens the implant and wear particles will easily be detached from the surface. These particles then contribute to a further abrasion of the implant surface. In addition, the particles will contribute to a foreign body reaction that will eventually lead to the aseptic loosening of the implant. The results of the present study, using XRMA to evaluate the chemical composition of many individual particles, confirm these assumptions.
Koerten, H. K.; van Raay, J. J. A. M.; Onderwater, J. J. M.; Bernoski, F. P.; and Rozing, P. M.
"Corrosion of Metal Hip Arthroplasties and Its Possible Role in Loosening,"
Cells and Materials: Vol. 7
, Article 4.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/cellsandmaterials/vol7/iss3/4