Show Summary Details
Page of

Bearing surfaces 

Bearing surfaces
Bearing surfaces

Gordon Blunn

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD MEDICINE ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Medicine Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 26 May 2022

Traditionally bearings were made from polyethylene and cobalt chrome. These bearings are still most commonly used for knee replacements. In hip replacements due to osteolysis caused by polyethylene wear alternative material combinations at the bearing surface are used

Highly cross linked plastics have been developed and have been shown to reduce wear. There are a number of different types available which differ in their performance

Metal on metal bearings first used in the 1960s have also been developed and show very low wear rates. These bearings are more susceptible to edge loading and the resulting metal ion release can result in adverse biological reactions leading to failure

Whilst ceramic on plastic surfaces have been used for a considerable amount of time the reduction in wear is not as great as with well functioning metal on metal bearings

Ceramic on ceramic bearings have been used for a considerable time and show even lower wear rates than metal on metal bearings. In the past there has been an incidence of catastrophic fracture of these bearings but developments in materials technology have considerably reduced these events.

Access to the complete content on Oxford Medicine Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.