Skip to main content

20.09.2016 | Global Tribology Summit | Ausgabe 1/2017

HSS Journal ® 1/2017

Corrosion of the Head-Stem Taper Junction—Are We on the Verge of an Epidemic?

Review Article

HSS Journal ® > Ausgabe 1/2017
PhD Michael Morlock, Dipl.-Ing. Dennis Bünte, MSc Julian Gührs, Dr.-Ing. Nicholas Bishop
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1007/​s11420-016-9526-4) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.



The modular head taper junction has contributed to the success of total hip arthroplasty (THA) greatly. Taper corrosion and wear problems reported for large and extra-large metal-on-metal bearings as well as for bi-modular THA stems have cast doubt on the benefit of the taper interface. Presently, corrosion problems are being reported for nearly all kinds of artificial hip joints incorporating metal heads, questioning taper connections in general.


This study aimed to review the mechanical and electrochemical relationships that may lead to taper corrosion, which have been reported more commonly in recent literature, and to also review the contribution of patient characteristics and surgical techniques involved in taper assembly that may contribute to the problem.


The search criteria “(corrosion) AND (hip arthroplasty) AND (taper OR trunnion)” and “(hip arthroplasty) AND ((pseudotumor) OR (pseudo-tumor))” in PubMed and the JAAOS were used for the literature search. In addition, the arthroplasty registers were considered.


Most studies acknowledge the multifactorial nature of the problem but concentrate their analysis on taper and implant design aspects, since this is the only factor that can be easily quantified. The sometimes conflicting results in the literature could be due to the fact that the other two decisive factors are not sufficiently considered: the loading situation in the patient and the assembly situation by the surgeon. All three factors together determine the fate of a taper junction in THA. There is no single reason as a main cause for taper corrosion. The combined “outcome” of these three factors has to be in a “safe range” to achieve a successful long-term taper fixation.


No, this is not the beginning of an epidemic. It is rather the consequence of disregarding known mechanical and electrochemical relationships, which in combination have recently caused a more frequent occurrence—and mainly reporting—of corrosion issues.

Bitte loggen Sie sich ein, um Zugang zu diesem Inhalt zu erhalten

e.Med Interdisziplinär

Mit e.Med Interdisziplinär erhalten Sie Zugang zu allen CME-Fortbildungen und Fachzeitschriften auf

Weitere Produktempfehlungen anzeigen
Nur für berechtigte Nutzer zugänglich
Über diesen Artikel

Weitere Artikel der Ausgabe 1/2017

HSS Journal ® 1/2017 Zur Ausgabe
  1. Das kostenlose Testabonnement läuft nach 14 Tagen automatisch und formlos aus. Dieses Abonnement kann nur einmal getestet werden.

  2. Sie können e.Med Radiologie 14 Tage kostenlos testen (keine Print-Zeitschrift enthalten). Der Test läuft automatisch und formlos aus. Es kann nur einmal getestet werden.

Neu im Fachgebiet Orthopädie und Unfallchirurgie

Mail Icon II Newsletter

Bestellen Sie unseren kostenlosen Newsletter Update Orthopädie und Unfallchirurgie und bleiben Sie gut informiert – ganz bequem per eMail.