Surface Characterization of Retrieved Metal-On-Metal Total Hip Implants from Patients with Adverse Reaction to Metal Debris


The use of metal-on-metal (MoM) total hip implants has decreased recently due to reports of high failure rates and adverse local tissue reaction (ALTR). It has been hypothesized that wear metal debris released from CoCr bearing surfaces may provoke delayed hypersensitivity reactions. The goal of this study is to evaluate the microscopic bearing surface characteristics of implants revised due to evidence of ALTR. The bearing surface of each head and cup was analyzed using multiple microscopy techniques for characterization of the surface features. The presence of severe mechanical scratching was a common characteristic found in all of the implants evaluated. Mechanical factors seemed to be the prevalent failure mode related to the appearance of ALTR with this particular set of retrieved implants.



Hip Prosthesis, Corrosion, Optical microscopy, Metal-on-Metal Joint Prostheses


CC BY 3.0 (Attribution)


Burbano, Maria, Robert Russell, Michael Huo, Robert Welch, et al. 2014. "Surface characterization of retrieved metal-on-metal total hip implants from patients with adverse reaction to metal debris." Materials 7(3): 1866-1879.