Effect of clearance on cartilage tribology in hip hemi-arthroplasty

Jia Lizhang, Simon D Taylor, Zhongmin Jin, John Fisher, Sophie Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Hemi-arthroplasty of the hip (an artificial femoral head articulating against the natural acetabulum) is used to treat fractured necks of femur; however, there is evidence that articulation causes erosion of the cartilage, resulting in pain for the patient. Parameters that may influence this cartilage erosion include head material and roughness, clearance between the head and acetabulum and activity levels of the patient. This study has assessed the effect of clearance of hemi-arthroplasty articulations on the contact stress, friction and cartilage deformation in an in vitro tribological simulation of the hemi-arthroplasty joint that applied dynamic loads and motion. It has been demonstrated that peak contact stress increased from 5.6 to 10.6 MPa as radial clearance increased from small (<0.6 mm) to extra-large (>1.8 mm). In all samples, friction factor increased with time and was significantly less with extra-large clearances compared to small (<0.6 mm), medium (0.6-1.2 mm) and large (1.2-1.8 mm) clearances. The cartilage deformation observed was significantly greater in acetabulum samples paired to give small or extra-large clearances compared to those with medium or large clearances.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1284-91
Number of pages8
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part H: Journal of Engineering in Medicine
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 8 Dec 2013

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Acetabulum
  • Animals
  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Hip
  • Cartilage, Articular
  • Friction
  • Hemiarthroplasty
  • Hip Joint
  • Hip Prosthesis
  • Lubrication
  • Stress, Mechanical
  • Swine
  • Treatment Outcome


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