With an expectation of an increased number of revision surgeries and patients receiving orthopedic implants in the coming years, the focus of joint replacement research needs to be on improving the mechanical properties of implants. Head-stem trunnion fixation provides superior load support and implant stability. Fretting wear is formed at the trunnion because of the dynamic load activities of patients, and this eventually causes the total hip implant system to fail. To optimize the design, multiple experiments with various trunnion geometries have been performed by researchers to examine the wear rate and associated mechanical performance characteristics of the existing head-stem trunnion. The objective of this work is to quantify and evaluate the performance parameters of smooth and novel spiral head-stem trunnion types under dynamic loading situations. This study proposes a finite element method for estimating head-stem trunnion performance characteristics, namely contact pressure and sliding distance, for both trunnion types under walking and jogging dynamic loading conditions. The wear rate for both trunnion types was computed using the Archard wear model for a standard number of gait cycles. The experimental results indicated that the spiral trunnion with a uniform contact pressure distribution achieved more fixation than the smooth trunnion. However, the average contact pressure distribution was nearly the same for both trunnion types. The maximum and average sliding distances were both shorter for the spiral trunnion; hence, the summed sliding distance was approximately 10% shorter for spiral trunnions than that of the smooth trunnion over a complete gait cycle. Owing to a lower sliding ability, hip implants with spiral trunnions achieved more stability than those with smooth trunnions. The anticipated wear rate for spiral trunnions was 0.039 mm3, which was approximately 10% lower than the smooth trunnion wear rate of 0.048 mm3 per million loading cycles. The spiral trunnion achieved superior fixation stability with a shorter sliding distance and a lower wear rate than the smooth trunnion; therefore, the spiral trunnion can be recommended for future hip implant systems.
Keywords: contact pressure; sliding distance; spiral head-stem trunnion; wear rate.