Total hip arthroplasty using highly cross-linked polyethylene in patients aged 50 years and younger: Minimum 15-year follow-up

G. G. Roedel, B. J. Kildow, D. S. Sveom, K. L. Garvin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Aims Highly cross-linked polyethylene (HXLPE) has greatly improved the durability of total hip arthroplasty (THA) in young patients because of its improved wear characteristics. Few studies have followed this population into the second decade, and therefore the purpose of this investigation was to evaluate the clinical outcome for THA patients 50 years of age and younger at a minimum of 15 years postoperatively. The second purpose was to evaluate the radiological findings secondary to wear or mechanical failure of the implant. Methods Between October 1999 and December 2005, 105 THAs were performed in 95 patients (53 female, 42 male) aged 50 years and younger (mean 42 years (20 to 50)). There were 87 patients (96 hips) that were followed for a minimum of 15 years (mean 17.3 years (15 to 21)) for analysis. Posterior approach was used with cementless fixation with a median head size of 28 mm. HXLPE was the acetabular bearing for all hips. Radiographs were evaluated for polyethylene wear, radiolucent lines, and osteolysis. Results Clinical outcomes showed significant improvement of mean Harris Hip Scores from 52.8 (SD 13.5) preoperatively to 94.8 (SD 7.6) postoperatively. One hip was revised for recurrent instability, and there were no infections. No hips were revised for mechanical loosening or osteolysis. Mean polyethylene linear wear was 0.04 mm/year and volumetric wear was 6.22 mm3/year, with no significant differences between head size or material. Osteolysis was not present in any of the hips. Conclusion The use of HXLPE in THA for patients aged 50 years and younger has performed exceptionally well without evidence of significant wear causing mechanical loosening or necessitating revision. The radiolucent lines of the acetabular component must be followed to determine the prognostic significance. This investigation represents the longest clinical follow-up of a large, consecutive cohort of patients aged 50 years or younger with THA using HXLPE. This long-term analysis found negligible polyethylene wear, no incidence of aseptic loosening, and excellent clinical outcomes at and beyond 15 years of follow-up.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)78-83
Number of pages6
JournalBone and Joint Journal
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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