Eight retrieved metal-on-metal total hip replacements displayed corrosion damage along the cobalt-chromium alloy liner taper junction with the Ti alloy acetabular shell. Scanning electron microscopy indicated the primary mechanism of corrosion to be grain boundary and associated crevice corrosion, which was likely accelerated through mechanical micromotion and galvanic corrosion resulting from dissimilar alloys. Coordinate measurements revealed up to 4.3mm(3) of the cobalt-chromium alloy taper surface was removed due to corrosion, which is comparable to previous reports of corrosion damage on head-neck tapers. The acetabular liner-shell taper appears to be an additional source of metal corrosion products in modular total hip replacements. Patients with these prostheses should be closely monitored for signs of adverse reaction towards corrosion by-products.
Keywords: Total hip arthroplasty; acetabular shell; corrosion; metal-on-metal; taper.
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