Highly cross-linked polyethylenes in total knee replacement
In the June 2002 issue of the Bulletin, the AAOS Biomedical Engineering Committee organized a Point/Counterpoint discussion on the use of highly cross-linked polyethylene articulating surfaces in total knee replacement. The intent of the discussion was to educate the Fellowship about the technical and scientific issues involved. As is noted in the Letter to the Editor section (page 15), an unfortunate copy-editing error occurred, resulting in incorrect titling of the discussion.
There was no intention to single out one particular product or method of manufacturing, but rather to discuss this new class of products as a whole. Furthermore, the discussion omitted the fact that highly cross-linked polyethylene tibial components have been cleared for marketing by the FDA for use in total knee replacements through the 510k process. It should also be noted that recently three studies have been presented at national research meetings and published as abstracts [1-3] that have evaluated the delamination resistance of highly cross- linked polyethylene. With regard to the use of highly cross-linked polyethylene in total knee replacement applications, the AAOS and the Biomedical Engineering Committee do not encourage or discourage the use of this class of material. We regret any confusion resulting from this Point/Counterpoint discussion.
Biomedical Engineering Committee