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01.12.2015 | Technical advance | Ausgabe 1/2015 Open Access

BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 1/2015

Method for the location of primary wear scars from retrieved metal on metal hip replacements

BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders > Ausgabe 1/2015
Garima Govind, Johann Henckel, Harry Hothi, Shiraz Sabah, John Skinner, Alister Hart
Wichtige Hinweise

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Authors’ contribution

GG analysed and generated the results. JH developed the methodology and co-wrote the initial draft of the manuscript. HH assisted with the diagrams and edited the methodology. SS assisted with the final editing of the manuscript the study design. JH, JS and AH were involved in the conception of the study. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.



Retrieved metal-on-metal acetabular cups are valuable resources in investigating the wear behaviour of failed hip implants, but adequate methods to do so are lacking. To further contribute to addressing this issue, we developed a method to detect the in vivo location of the primary wear scar of an explanted cup.


We proposed a new method in which thirteen patients with failed metal hip resurfacings were recruited, and their acetabular components retrieved. A 3D wear map was generated and the precise location of the primary wear scar in each cup was identified using a coordinate measuring machine. This wear scar location was noted in relation to the features on the acetabular cup. Having identified the location of the wear scar, this 3D positional map was co-registered to the implant on the patient’s pelvic 3D CT scan.


Using our proposed technique, we were able to demonstrate that the in vivo position of the primary wear scar in explanted metal acetabular cups can be variable.


This method has utilised existing techniques to better understand the three-dimensional properties of wear behaviour, and may be a method which can be used in further studies to investigate variables that affect the position of the primary wear scar.
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