Nowadays, a growing number of young and more active patients receive hip replacement. More strenuous activities in such patients involve higher friction and wear rates, with friction on the bearing surface being crucial to ensure arthroplasty survival in the long term. Over the last years, the polycarbonate-urethane has offered a feasible alternative to conventional bearings. A finite element model of a healthy hip joint was developed and adjusted to three gait phases (heel strike, mid-stance, and toe-off), serving as a benchmark for the assessment of the results of joint replacement model. Three equivalent models were made with the polycarbonate-urethane Tribofit system implanted, one for each of the three gait phases, after reproducing a virtual surgery over the respective healthy models. Standard body-weight loads were considered: 230% body-weight toe-off, 275% body-weight mid-stance, and 350% body-weight heel strike. Contact pressures were obtained for the different models. When comparing the results corresponding to the healthy model to polycarbonate-urethane joint, contact areas are similar and so contact pressures are within a narrower value range. In conclusion, polycarbonate-urethane characteristics are similar to those of the joint cartilage. So, it is a favorable alternative to traditional bearing surfaces in total hip arthroplasty, especially in young patients.
Gabarre, S., Herrera, A., Mateo, J., Ibarz, E., Lobo-Escolar, A., & Gracia, L. (2014). Study of the Polycarbonate-Urethane/Metal Contact in Different Positions during Gait Cycle. BioMed Research International, 2014. https://doi.org/10.1155/2014/548968