A prospective randomised controlled trial comparing three alternative bearing surfaces in primary total hip replacement

V. S. Nikolaou, M. R. Edwards, E. Bogoch, E. H. Schemitsch, J. P. Waddell


The ideal bearing surface for young patients undergoing total hip replacement (THR) remains controversial. We report the five-year results of a randomised controlled trial comparing the clinical and radiological outcomes of 102 THRs in 91 patients who were < 65 years of age. These patients were randomised to receive a cobalt–chrome on ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene, cobalt–chrome on highly cross-linked polyethylene, or a ceramic-on-ceramic bearing. In all, 97 hip replacements in 87 patients were available for review at five years. Two hips had been revised, one for infection and one for peri-prosthetic fracture.

At the final follow-up there were no significant differences between the groups for the mean Western Ontario and McMaster Universities osteoarthritis index (pain, p = 0.543; function, p = 0.10; stiffness, p = 0.99), Short Form-12 (physical component, p = 0.878; mental component, p = 0.818) or Harris hip scores (p = 0.22). Radiological outcomes revealed no significant wear in the ceramic group.

Comparison of standard and highly cross-linked polyethylene, however, revealed an almost threefold difference in the mean annual linear wear rates (0.151 mm/year versus 0.059 mm/year, respectively) (p < 0.001).


  • No benefits in any form have been received or will be received from a commercial party related directly or indirectly to the subject of this article.

  • Received June 8, 2011.
  • Accepted December 2, 2011.
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