A major concern in joint replacement surgery is periprosthetic osteolysis which leads to aseptic loosening of prosthetic implants. Radiographic studies and implant retrieval analysis have been used to establish the relationship between excessive wear of different implant designs and implant failure. The potential sources of wear particles can be divided into articulating and non-articulating interfaces of joint replacement prostheses. Laboratory techniques can be used to produce wear particles of the size and shape similar to that seen around prostheses. In-vitro and in-vivo studies are useful in defining the mechanisms whereby wear particles may induce a cellular response which causes bone resorption and loosening.
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