Modern metal-on-metal articulation have been proposed to reduce the incidence of osteolysis due to polyethylene particles debris, as a late complication. The tribology of large metal-on-metal articulations allows theoretical advantages with respect to other configurations, especially for the lubrication regime. This study was aimed to compare the wear performances of different diameters of clinically available acetabular metallic components manufactured in a cast cobalt-chrome alloy. To evaluate the influence of the material properties of wear and microstructure, metal-on-metal components were tested in a hip joint simulator for five million cycles with bovine calf serum as lubricant. In particular, three different configurations of metal-on-metal components (28-mm, 36-mm, 54-mm) were tested. After the test all specimens were examined with optical and electronic scanning microscope. A statistical difference were observed among the three groups tested in the run-in and steady-state wear rates, favoring the larger femoral heads. The results of this study indicate that the 54-mm diameter femoral heads prove a better wear behavior than the smaller configurations.

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