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Review
. May-Aug 2018;26(3):2309499018808356.
doi: 10.1177/2309499018808356.

Polyethylene in Total Knee Arthroplasty: Where Are We Now?

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Review

Polyethylene in Total Knee Arthroplasty: Where Are We Now?

Spencer K Wilhelm et al. J Orthop Surg (Hong Kong). .

Abstract

Polyethylene (PE) remains the gold standard for the articulating surface in hip and knee arthroplasty. To increase arthroplasty longevity and improve wear resistance, newer versions of PE have been designed with resultantly different wear properties. Highly cross-linked polyethylene (HXLPE) is used in total hip arthroplasty with excellent outcomes; however, its use in total knee arthroplasty (TKA) remains conflicting. This review summarizes biomechanical and wear properties, clinical outcomes, and cost of polyethylene inserts in TKA. Simulation studies have convincingly shown decreased wear and oxidation rates with HXLPE when compared to conventional polyethylene (CPE). Registry results have been conflicting, and short- to midterm clinical studies have not demonstrated a significant difference between HXLPE and CPE. The cost of HXLPE inserts is higher than CPE. Long-term clinical data are lacking and further studies are warranted to evaluate the role of HXLPE in TKA.

Keywords: CPE; HXLPE; polyethylene; total knee arthroplasty.

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