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Analysis of surface damage in retrieved carbon fiber-reinforced and plain polyethylene tibial components from posterior stabilized total knee replacements
TM Wright; CM Rimnac; PM Faris; M Bansal
J Bone Joint Surg Am, 1988 Oct 01;70(9):1312-1319
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The performance of carbon fiber-reinforced ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene was compared with that of plain (non-reinforced) polyethylene on the basis of the damage that was observed on the articulating surfaces of retrieved tibial components of total knee prostheses. Established microscopy techniques for subjectively grading the presence and extent of surface damage and the histological structure of the surrounding tissues were used to evaluate twenty-six carbon fiber-reinforced and twenty plain polyethylene components that had been retrieved after an average of twenty-one months of implantation. All of the tibial components were from the same design of total knee replacement. The two groups of patients from whom the components were retrieved did not differ with regard to weight, the length of time that the component had been implanted, the radiographic position and angular alignment of the component, the original diagnosis, or the reason for removal of the component. The amounts and types of damage that were observed did not differ for the two materials. For both materials, the amount of damage was directly related to the length of time that the component had been implanted. The histological appearance of tissues from the area around the component did not differ for the two materials, except for the presence of fragments of carbon fiber in many of the samples from the areas around carbon fiber-reinforced components.

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    These activities have been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint sponsorship of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
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