Skip to Main Content
Skip Nav Destination
ASTM Selected Technical Papers
Titanium, Niobium, Zirconium, and Tantalum for Medical and Surgical Applications
By
LD Zardiackas, Ph.D
LD Zardiackas, Ph.D
1
Professor and Chair Department of Biomedical Materials Science
Search for other works by this author on:
HL Freese, PE
HL Freese, PE
2
Manager Business Development Biomedical
Search for other works by this author on:
MJ Kraay, MS, MD
MJ Kraay, MS, MD
3
Associate Professor of Orthopaedics
Search for other works by this author on:
ISBN-10:
0-8031-3497-5
ISBN:
978-0-8031-3497-3
No. of Pages:
269
Publisher:
ASTM International
Publication date:
2006

Severe, localized corrosion of titanium-alloy femoral stems has been reported for specific designs of hip prostheses intended for fixation using acrylic cement. The purpose of the present study was to examine the possibility that corrosion might also occur when titanium-alloy stems are inserted without cement, but the body of the stem is modular in design. Fourteen (7 primary and 7 revision) cementless, modular-body, titanium-6 % aluminum-4 % vanadium alloy femoral stems of similar design were removed at revision surgery after 2 to 108 months in situ. The reason for removal was unexplained pain (4), femoral or acetabular loosening (4), infection (3), recurrent dislocation (2), or component malposition (1). The devices and, in selected cases, tissue from the joint psuedocapsule were studied with the use of light and scanning electron microscopy. Fretting corrosion products were characterized using energy dispersive x-ray analysis, selected area diffraction, and micro-Raman spectroscopy. Damage at the modular body connections was absent in 3 stems, mild in 6, moderate in 4, and severe in 1. The surface damage was characterized predominately by fretting scars and by pitting and etching. Thick deposits of mixed titanium oxides were found adherent to the stem at the sites of corrosion and as 0.01 to 200 micrometer particles within histiocytes and multinucleated giant cells in the joint pseudocapsule. Fretting corrosion at the modular-body junctions of titanium-alloy femoral stems can generate solid degradation products, adding to the particulate biu-den of the periprosthetic tissues and potentially accelerating bearing-surface wear by a third-body mechanism. Both of these features can potentiate the development and progression of osteolysis. In addition, fretting corrosion can increase the potential for structural failure of the device. These findings stress the importance of the design of modular junctions to minimize corrosion and the generation of corrosion products.

1.
Schenk
,
R.
, “
The Corrosion Properties of Titanium and Titanium Alloys
,”
Titanium in Medicine. Material Science, Surface Science, Engineering, Biological Responses and Medical Applications
,
Brunette
D. M.
,
Tengvall
P.
,
Texor
M.
, and
Thomsen
P.
, Eds.,
Springer
,
Berlin
,
2001
, pp. 146–70.
2.
Jacobs
,
J. J.
,
Gilbert
,
J. L.
, and
Urban
,
R. M.
, “
Corrosion of Orthopaedic Implants
,”
Journal of Bone Joint Surgery
 0021-9355,
1988
, Vol.
80-A
, pp. 268-82.
3.
Gilbert
,
J. L.
,
Buckley
,
C. A.
, and
Jacobs
,
J. J.
, “
In Vivo Corrosion of Modular Hip Prosthesis Components in Mixed and Similar Metal Combinations. The Effect of Crevice, Stress, Motion, and Alloy Coupling
,”
Journal of Biomedical Materials Research
 0021-9304,
1993
, Vol.
27
, pp. 1533–44.
4.
Goldberg
,
J. R.
,
Gilbert
,
J. L.
,
Jacobs
,
J. J.
,
Bauer
,
T. W.
,
Paprosky
,
W.
, and
Leurgans
,
S.
, “
A Multicenter Retrieval Study of the Taper Interfaces of Modular Hip Prostheses
,”
Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research
 0009-921X,
2002
, Vol.
401
, pp. 149–61.
5.
Hallam
,
P.
,
Haddad
,
F.
, and
Cobb
,
J
, “
Pain in the Well-Fixed, Aseptic Titanium Hip Replacement. The Role of Corrosion
,”
Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery
 0021-9355,
2004
, Vol.
86-B
, pp. 27–30.
6.
Scholl
,
E.
,
Eggli
,
S.
, and
Ganz
,
R.
, “
Osteolysis in Cemented Titanium Alloy Hip Prosthesis
,”
Journal of Arthroplasty
 0883-5403,
2000
, Vol.
15
, pp. 570–75.
7.
Willert
,
H. G.
,
Broback
,
L.-G.
,
Buchhom
,
G. H.
,
Jensen
,
P. H.
,
Koster
,
G.
,
Lang
,
I.
, et al
, “
Crevice Corrosion of Cemented Titanium Alloy Stems in Total Hip Replacements
,”
Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research
 0009-921X, Vol.
333
,
1996
, pp. 51–75.
8.
Urban
,
R. M.
,
Jacobs
,
J. J.
,
Gilbert
,
J. L.
, and
Galante
,
J. O.
, “
Migration of Corrosion Products from Modular Hip Prostheses. Particle Microanalysis and Histopathological Findings
,”
Journal of Bone Joint Surgery
 0021-9355, Vol.
76-A
,
1994
, pp. 1345–59.
9.
Pourbaix
,
M.
,
Atlas of Electrochemical Equilibria in Aqueous Solutions
,
Pergamon Press
,
1966
, p. 218.
10.
Schultz
,
R. W.
and
Thomas
,
D. E.
, “
Corrosion of Titanium and Titanium Alloys
,”
ASM Handbook Volume 13. Corrosion
,
Davis
J. R.
, Ed.,
ASM International
,
Materials Park, OH
,
1987
, pp. 669–706.
11.
Gilbert
,
J. L.
,
Buckley
,
C. A.
, and
Lautenachlager
,
E. P.
, “
Titanium Oxide Film Fracture and Repassivation: The Effect of Potential, pH and Aeration
,”
Medical Applications of Titanium and Its Alloys: the Material and Biological Issues, ASTM STP 1272
,
Brown
S. A.
and
Lemons
J. E.
, Eds.,
ASTM International
,
West Conshohocken, PA
,
1996
, pp. 199–215.
12.
Gilbert
,
J. L.
and
Jacobs
,
J. J.
, “
The Mechanical and Electrochemical Processes Associated with Taper Fretting Corrosion: A Review
,”
Modularity of orthopedic implants, ASTM STP 1301
,
Parr
J. E.
and
Mayor
M. B.
, Eds.,
ASTM International
,
West Conshohocken, PA
,
1997
, pp. 45–59.
13.
Cameron
,
H. U.
, “
Revision of the Femoral Component: Modularity
,”
The Adult Hip
,
Callaghan
J. J.
,
Rosenberg
A. G.
, and
Rubash
H. E.
, Eds.,
Lippincott-Raven
,
Philadelphia, PA
,
1998
, pp. 1479–91.
14.
Bono
,
J. V.
,
McCarthy
,
C
,
Lee
,
J.
,
Carangelo
,
R. J.
, and
Turner
,
R. H.
, “
Fixation with a Modular Stem in Revision Total Hip Arthroplasty
,”
Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery
 0021-9355,
1999
, Vol.
81-A
, pp. 1326–36.
15.
Heim
,
C. S.
,
Postak
,
P. D.
, and
Greenwald
,
A. S.
, “
Femoral Stem Fatigue Characteristics of Modular Hip Designs
,”
Modularity of Orthopedic Implants, ASTM 1301
,
Marlowe
D. E.
,
Parr
J. E.
, and
Mayor
M. B.
, Eds.,
ASTM International
,
West Conshohocken, PA
,
1997
, pp. 226–43.
16.
Hoeppner
,
D. W.
and
Chandrasekaran
,
V.
, “
Characterizing the Fretting Fatigue Behavior of TI-6AL-4V in Modular Joints
,”
Medical Applications of Titanium and Its Alloys: The Material and Biological Issues, ASTM STP 1272
,
Brown
S. A.
and
Lemons
J. E.
, Eds.,
ASTM International
,
West Conshohocken, PA
,
1996
, pp. 252–65.
This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this chapter.
Close Modal

or Create an Account

Close Modal
Close Modal