Ceramic-on-ceramic vs ceramic-on-polyethylene, a comparative study with 10-year follow-up

Justin van Loon, Daniël Hoornenborg, Harm M. van der Vis, Inger N. Sierevelt, Kim T. M. Opdam, Gino M. M. J. Kerkhoffs, Daniël Haverkamp

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BACKGROUND In press-fit total hip arthroplasty (THA) ceramic-on-ceramic (CoC) bearings are a potential for overcoming the wear that is seen in ceramic-on-polyethylene (CoPE) bearings, and can lead to wear-induced osteolysis, resulting in loosening of the implant. However, CoC bearings show disadvantages as well, such as squeaking sounds and being more fragile, which can cause ceramic head or liner fracture. Because comparative long-term studies are limited, the objective of this study was to determine the long-term difference in wear, identify potential predictive factors for wear, investigate radiological findings such as osteolysis, and evaluate clinical functioning and complications between these bearings. AIM To determine 10-year differences in wear, predictive factors for wear, and investigate radiological findings and clinical functioning between CoC and CoPE. METHODS This observational prospective single-center cohort study with a 10-year followup includes a documented series of elective THAs. Primary outcome was wear measured by anteroposterior (AP) radiographs. Secondary outcomes were potential predictive factors for wear, complications during follow-up, Harris hip score (HHS), and radiological findings such as presence of radiolucency, osteolysis, atrophy, and hypertrophy around the cup. Due to the absence of wear in the CoC group, stratified analysis to identify risk factors for wear was only performed in the CoPE group by use of univariate linear regression analysis. HHS was expressed as a change from baseline and the association with bearing type was assessed by use of multivariate linear regression analysis, adjusted for potential confounders. RESULTS A total of 17 CoPE (63.0%) and 25 CoC (73.5%) cases were available for follow-up and showed a linear wear of respectively 0.130 mm/year (range 0.010; 0.350) and 0.000 mm/year (range 0.000; 0.005), which was significant (P < 0.001) between both groups. Wear always occurred in the cranial direction. Cup inclination was the only predictive factor for polyethylene (PE) wear. No dislocations, ceramic head, or liner fractures were seen. The HHS showed a mean change from baseline of 37.1 points (SD 18.5) in the CoPE group and 43.9 (SD 17.0) in the CoC group. This crude difference of 6.8 (range -5.2; 18.7) in favor of the CoC group was not significant (P = 0.26) and was not significant when adjusted for age, gender, and diagnosis either (P = 0.99). No significant differences in complications and radiological findings were seen between groups. CONCLUSION CoC bearing shows lower wear rates compared to CoPE at 10-year follow-up with cup inclination as a predictive factor for wear and no differences in complications, HHS, and radiological findings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14-23
Number of pages10
JournalWorld journal of orthopedics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jan 2021


  • Bearing
  • Ceramic-on-ceramic
  • Ceramic-onpolyethylene
  • Press-fit
  • Total hip arthroplasty
  • Wear

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