SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 29 January 2016

Microgrooved Surface Topography Does Not Influence Fretting Corrosion of Tapers in Total Hip Arthroplasty: Classification and Retrieval Analysis


Surface topography has been suggested as a factor in fretting corrosion. The purpose of this study was to develop a method to characterize a broad range of machined smooth stems and intentionally microgrooved stems. As part of a multicenter, institutional review board–approved retrieval program, 398 stems paired with cobalt-chromium (CoCr; ASTM F75 or ASTM F90) alloy heads were collected. Stems were fabricated from CoCr or titanium-6aluminum-4vanadium (Ti-6Al-4V) alloys and were used in a metal-on-polyethylene bearing total hip device. A roundness machine (Talyrond 585, Taylor Hobson, United Kingdom) was used to quantify surface topography. Linear profiles were measured with a diamond-tip stylus capturing a 10-mm line trace. Commercial software (Ultra, Taylor Hobson, United Kingdom) was used to analyze a 1-mm representative as-manufactured region. Three parameters were calculated from the profiles: average surface roughness, amplitude, and wavelength of microgrooves (if any). Surface observations led to a classification system in which a surface had to contain a periodic pattern, a wavelength >100 μm and an amplitude of >4 μm to be considered microgrooved. Fifty percent (199/398) of the femoral stem taper surfaces were classified as smooth tapered stems. The remaining 50 % (199/398) femoral stem taper surfaces were classified as microgrooved tapered stems. Using multivariate analysis of covariance, implantation time (p < 0.0001), apparent engagement length (p < 0.0001), flexural rigidity (p = 0.009), and head size (p = 0.02) were significant factors in fretting corrosion head damage scores. Surface topography (i.e., smooth or microgrooved, p = 0.86), surface wavelength (p = 0.94), surface amplitude (p = 0.49), and head offset (p = 0.028) were not associated with the femoral head fretting corrosion damage score. Overall, the results of this study do not support trunnion surface morphology as a contributing factor to fretting and corrosion damage at the modular head-neck interface.

Author Information

Arnholt, Christina
Drexel University, Biomedical Engineering, Philadelphia, PA, US
Underwood, Richard
Exponent, Inc., Biomedical Engineering, Philadelphia, PA, US
MacDonald, Daniel
Drexel University, Biomedical Engineering, Philadelphia, PA, US
Higgs, Genymphas
Drexel University, Biomedical Engineering, Philadelphia, PA, US
Chen, Antonia
Rothman Institute at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Dept. of Orthopedic Surgery, Philadelphia, PA, US
Klein, Gregg
Hartzband Center for Hip & Knee Replacement, Dept. of Orthopedic Surgery, Paramus, NJ, US
Hamlin, Brian
The Bone and Joint Center–CMI, Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC, Pittsburgh, PA, US
Lee, Gwo-Chin
University of Pennsylvania, Penn Muscular Skeletal Center, Philadelphia, PA, US
Mont, Michael
Center for Joint Preservation and Replacement, The Rubin Institute of Advanced Orthopedics, Sinai Hospital of Baltimore, Baltimore, MD, US
Cates, Harold
Tennessee Orthopedic Foundation, Dept. of Orthopedics, Knoxville, TN, US
Malkani, Arthur
Jewish Hospital, Louisville, KY, US
Kraay, Matthew
University Hospitals Case Medical Center, Joint Reconstruction and Arthritis Surgery, Cleveland, OH, US
Rimnac, Clare
Case Western Reserve University, Center for the Evaluation of Implant Performance, Cleveland, OH, US
Kurtz, Steven
Exponent, Inc. and Drexel University, Biomedical Engineering, Philadelphia, PA, US
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Developed by Committee: F04
Pages: 99–112
DOI: 10.1520/STP159120140149
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-7628-7
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-7627-0