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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 575849, 7 pages
Research Article

PMMA Third-Body Wear after Unicondylar Knee Arthroplasty Decuples the UHMWPE Wear Particle Generation In Vitro

Department of Orthopedic Surgery, University Hospital of Munich (LMU), Campus Großhadern, Marchioninistraße 15, 81377 Munich, Germany

Received 20 June 2014; Revised 16 August 2014; Accepted 19 August 2014

Academic Editor: Thomas M. Grupp

Copyright © 2015 Alexander Christoph Paulus et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Introduction. Overlooked polymethylmethacrylate after unicondylar knee arthroplasty can be a potential problem, since this might influence the generated wear particle size and morphology. The aim of this study was the analysis of polyethylene wear in a knee wear simulator for changes in size, morphology, and particle number after the addition of third-bodies. Material and Methods. Fixed bearing unicondylar knee prostheses (UKA) were tested in a knee simulator for 5.0 million cycles. Following bone particles were added for 1.5 million cycles, followed by 1.5 million cycles with PMMA particles. A particle analysis by scanning electron microscopy of the lubricant after the cycles was performed. Size and morphology of the generated wear were characterized. Further, the number of particles per 1 million cycles was calculated for each group. Results. The particles of all groups were similar in size and shape. The number of particles in the PMMA group showed 10-fold higher values than in the bone and control group (PMMA: 12; bone: 12; control: 12). Conclusion. The addition of bone or PMMA particles in terms of a third-body wear results in no change of particle size and morphology. PMMA third-bodies generated tenfold elevated particle numbers. This could favor an early aseptic loosening.