Elasto-plastic contact analysis of an ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene tibial component based on geometrical measurement from a retrieved knee prosthesis

C. H. Cho, T. Murakami, Y. Sawae, N. Sakai, H. Miura, T. Kawano, Y. Iwamoto

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The wear phenomenon of ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) in knee and hip prostheses is one of the major restriction factors on the longevity of these implants. Especially in retrieved knee prostheses with anatomical design, the predominant types of wear on UHMWPE tibial components are delamination and pitting. These fatigue wear patterns of UHMWPE are believed to result from repeated plastic deformation owing to high contact stresses. In this study, the elasto-plastic contact analysis of the UHWMPE tibial insert, based on geometrical measurement for retrieved knee prosthesis, was performed using the finite element method (FEM) to investigate the plastic deformation behaviour in the UHMWPE tibial component. The results suggest that the maximum plastic strain below the surface is closely related to subsurface crack initiation and delamination of the retrieved UHMWPE tibial component. The worn surface whose macroscopic geometrical congruity had been improved due to wear after joint replacement showed lower contact stress at macroscopic level.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)251-259
Number of pages9
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part H: Journal of Engineering in Medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2004


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Mechanical Engineering

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