Focus variation measurement and advanced analysis of volumetric loss at the femoral head taper interface of retrieved modular replacement hips in replica

Karl Walton, Maila Petrucci, Radu Racasan, Liam Blunt, Alister Hart, Paul Bills

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


This paper offers a technique for non-contact assessment of material volume loss at the femoral head taper interface of modular replacement hips with novel use of the focus variation principle. A novel 3D to areal data conversion technique also allows powerful areal data analysis techniques to be applied to point cloud (3D) measurements for volume loss optimisation. Accurate characterisation of retrieved femoral head tapers is important to assess their in vivo performance particularly with respect to the bio toxicity of wear and corrosion products. A cohort of 8 retrieved femoral heads showing a wide range of degradation (0.5mm 3 < volume loss < 12mm 3) [1] was selected for the development of this technique. Using this common cohort of retrieved hips, the current technique was benchmarked against the well proven roundness measurement machine (RMM) method. This existing technique generates areal (2.5D) data and exploits a range of existing areal analysis techniques to optimise volume loss assessment. For benchmarking continuity and to exploit the same areal techniques, volume loss analysis for the current technique was carried out using the software written for the existing RMM method. The focus variation instrument's integrated language was used to write script to convert (un-wrap) the taper surface 3D data into areal format. The current method shows a mean absolute difference in volume loss of 14% (-12% signed) from that of the benchmark with a range of 1% to 27%. The spread of measured values is significantly higher for the current method than for the benchmark. However, it is noted that replication can offer the advantage of capturing the whole taper surface on some taper types where physical access is limited for a stylus based roundness method. The current technique is also compared to the existing Redlux™ technique in which replicated female tapers are measured using a confocal instrument. The current technique is shown to have comparable performance to the Redlux™ technique but offers a more sophisticated methodology for volume loss analysis. In addition the current technique offers new instrumentation and analysis tools to the field. Small uncontrolled casting variations are noted in the current technique, resulting in poorer performance with small volume loss samples where the influence of this effect is most pronounced. However, given the simplified assumptions of the volume loss calculation where results may be skewed by deposits, some uncertainty will be evident with any approach.

Original languageEnglish
Article number012004
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Physics: Conference Series
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jun 2019
Event16th International Conference on Metrology and Properties of Engineering Surfaces - Gothenburg, Sweden
Duration: 26 Jun 201729 Jun 2017
Conference number: 16 (Link to Conference Website )


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