Lubrication regimes in lumbar total disc arthroplasty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Authors

Colleges, School and Institutes

Abstract

A number of total disc arthroplasty devices have been developed. Some concern has been expressed that wear may be a potential failure mode for these devices, as has been seen with hip arthroplasty. The aim of this paper was to investigate the lubrication regimes that occur in lumbar total disc arthroplasty devices. The disc arthroplasty was modelled as a ball-and-socket joint. Elastohydrodynamic lubrication theory was used to calculate the minimum film thickness of the fluid between the bearing surfaces. The lubrication regime was then determined for different material combinations, size of implant, and trunk velocity. Disc arthroplasties with a metal-polymer or metal-metal material combination operate with a boundary lubrication regime. A ceramic-ceramic material combination has the potential to operate with fluid-film lubrication. Disc arthroplasties with a metal-polymer or metal-metal material combination are likely to generate wear debris. In future, it is worth considering a ceramic-ceramic material combination as this is likely to reduce wear.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)621-627
Number of pages7
JournalEngineering in Medicine
Volume221
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2007

Keywords

  • lubrication, disc arthroplasty, wear