Isolated Acetabular Liner Exchange

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J Am Acad Orthop Surg, Vol 16, No 5, May 2008, 243-246. Adolph V. Lombardi, Jr,, FACS and Keith R. Berend, During the past two decades, most total hip arthroplasties were performed with metal or ceramic heads on conventional polyethylene, an articulation associated with wear and limited life expectancy. Wear is associated with acetabular osteolysis. Isolated liner exchange has become a common surgical intervention when the acetabular component remains well-fixed. The purpose of isolated liner exchange is to prevent loosening of the components secondary to osteolysis and catastrophic mechanical failure caused by bearing wear-through. Treatment options for polyethylene wear include observation (in the asymptomatic hip), liner exchange, and more extensive revision procedures. Patients frequently present with asymptomatic but substantial polyethylene wear with or without associated osteolysis, the treatment of which is controversial. Other areas of debate include complete acetabular component removal to allow bone grafting and placement of an improved bearing surface, reuse of modular mechanisms, cementation into well-fixed shells, and whether to use periacetabular bone grafting.

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