Concerns about reduced strength, fatigue resistance, and oxidative stability of highly cross-linked and remelted ultrahigh-molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) have limited its clinical acceptance for total knee arthroplasty. We hypothesized that a highly cross-linked UHMWPE stabilized with vitamin E would have less oxidation and loss of mechanical properties. We compared the oxidation, in vitro strength, fatigue-crack propagation resistance, and wear of highly cross-linked UHMWPE doped with vitamin E to γ-inert-sterilized direct compression-molded UHMWPE (control). After accelerated aging, the control material showed elevated oxidation, loss of small-punch mechanical properties, and loss of fatigue-crack propagation resistance. In contrast, the vitamin E-stabilized material had minimal changes and exhibited 73% to 86% reduction in wear for both cruciate-retaining and posterior-stabilized total knee arthroplasty designs. Highly cross-linked vitamin E-stabilized UHMWPE performed well in vitro.
- Vitamin E
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine