Biochemical analyses were performed on osteoarthritic and periprosthetic synovial fluid in order to propose changes to lubricant specifications currently outlined in orthopaedic wear testing standards. Osteoarthritic and periprosthetic synovial fluid samples were obtained from the hip and knee joints of 40 patients. The samples in each group were analysed and compared in order to identify differences between the protein concentration, constituent fractions, osmolality, thermal stability and the hyaluronic acid concentration and molecular weight distribution of osteoarthritic and periprosthetic synovial fluid. The average total protein concentration was approximately 30 g/L, which was much higher than the 20 g/L currently specified in the knee wear testing standard; however, the 30 g/L protein concentration matched the recently revised standard for hip simulator wear testing. No significant difference was found between the protein concentration, osmolality, thermal stability, and hyaluronic acid concentration of osteoarthritic and periprosthetic synovial fluid. The clinical data provided should be used to better define the composition of a more clinically relevant lubricant for orthopaedic wear testing.
Keywords: Total joint replacement; biochemistry; polyethylene; protein; wear.