Variation in taper surface roughness for a single design effects the wear rate in total hip arthroplasty

Robert K. Whittaker, Harry S. Hothi, Antti Eskelinen, Gordon W. Blunn, John A. Skinner, Alister J. Hart

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Material loss from the head-stem taper junction of total hip arthroplasty (THA) is implicated in adverse reactions to metal debris (ARMD); the mechanisms for this are multi-factorial. We investigated the relationship between the roughness of the "as manufactured" taper surface and the wear rate from this junction. Fifty retrieved Pinnacle metal-on-metal (MOM) bearings paired with a Corail stem were included in the study. Multivariable statistical analysis was performed to determine the influence of taper roughness on material loss rate after controlling for other confounding surgical, implant, and patient factors. The surface roughness of the "as manufactured" head taper surface was associated with the rate of material loss from this surface. Four of eighteen roughness variables taken from ISO 4,287 and ISO 13,565-2 were significant: The Reduced Peak Height (Rpk, the protruding peaks above the core) (p = 0.004), Material Ratio 1 (Mr1, the ratio of the protruding peaks above the core) (p = 0.002), Area of the Peak Region (A1, the area of the Abbott-Curve that contains the peaks from the profile) (p = 0.003) and the Skewness (Rsk, the asymmetry of the height distribution corresponding to the height or depth of surface features) (p = 0.03). We found a large variability in the measured values with a median (range) of 0.50 (0.05-2.98), 11.98 (0.46-39.98), 30.89 (0.15-581.00), and 0.04 (-0.73-0.84), respectively. A 1-unit increase in Rpk was associated with a 73% increase in the taper wear rate. The variability of "as manufactured" surface roughness has a significant effect on taper material loss.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1784-1792
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic Research
Issue number8
Early online date25 Oct 2016
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2017


  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Hip
  • Equipment Failure Analysis
  • Female
  • Hip Prosthesis
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged


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