Wear Performance of Large-Diameter Differential-Hardness Hip Bearings

C. Lowry Barnes, David DeBoer, R. Scott Corpe, Satya Nambu, Michael Carroll, Irina Timmerman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


We hypothesized that differential-hardness hard-on-hard bearings would generate less wear debris compared with like-hardness metal-on-metal (M-o-M) bearings. We conducted wear testing on 3 types of large-diameter hard hip bearings: (1) contemporary cast-on-cast ("like" hardness) M-o-M; (2) differential-hardness M-o-M; and (3) differential-hardness ceramic-on-metal. A simulated gait profile ranging from 200 to 2000 N was applied to the bearings at a frequency of 1 Hz for 5 Mc. All bearings were tested in an anatomically inverted position in 90% α calf serum. Both differential-hardness bearing systems produced lower run-in wear rates (90%-97%), steady-state wear rate (45%-84%), and total metal wear (68%-88%) compared with the like-hardness bearing system. The ceramic-on-metal bearings exhibited the least wear followed by differential-hardness M-o-M bearings; like-hardness M-o-M bearings exhibited the greatest amount of wear. These findings support our hypothesis that differential-hardness hip bearing systems produce less metallic wear debris than those with like hardness and may result in lower metal ion release in vivo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)56-60
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Arthroplasty
Issue number6 SUPPL.
StatePublished - Sep 2008


  • hip bearings
  • metal-on-metal bearings
  • total hip arthroplasty
  • wear debris

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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