Improvement in the assessment of wear of total knee replacements using coordinate-measuring machine techniques

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30 Citations (Scopus)


Total joint replacement is one of the most common elective surgical procedures performed worldwide, with an estimate of 1. 5×106 operations performed annually. Currently joint replacements are expected to function for 10-15 years; however, with an increase in life expectancy, and a greater call for knee replacement due to increased activity levels, there is a requirement to improve their function to offer longer-term improved quality of life for patients.

Wear analysis of total joint replacements has long been an important means in determining failure mechanisms and improving longevity of these devices. The effectiveness of the coordinate-measuring machine (CMM) technique for assessing volumetric material loss during simulated life testing of a replacement knee joint has been proved previously by the present authors. The purpose of the current work is to present an improvement to this method for situations where no pre-wear data are available.

To validate the method, simulator tests were run and gravimetric measurements taken throughout the test, such that the components measured had a known wear value. The implications of the results are then discussed in terms of assessment of joint functionality and development of standardized CMM-based product standards. The method was then expanded to allow assessment of clinically retrieved bearings so as to ascertain a measure of true clinical wear.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)309-318
Number of pages10
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part H: Journal of Engineering in Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2008


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