Journal of shoulder and elbow surgery

Wear rates of retentive versus nonretentive reverse total shoulder arthroplasty liners in an in vitro wear simulation.

PMID 25842031


Although short-term outcomes of reverse total shoulder arthroplasty (rTSA) remain promising, the most commonly cited complication remains prosthetic instability. A retentive rTSA liner is commonly used to increase system constraint; however, no studies have evaluated the rate of polyethylene wear. Our hypothesis was that more constrained retentive liners would have higher wear rates than nonretentive liners. Six nonretentive and six retentive rTSA non-cross-linked polyethylene liners were subjected to 4.5 million cycles of alternating cycles of abduction-adduction and flexion-extension motion loading profiles. The rTSA liners were assessed for gravimetric wear loss, 3-dimensional volumetric loss by novel micro-computed tomography analysis, and particulate wear debris analysis. Volumetric wear rates were significant at 7 specific time points (1.0, 2.0, 2.5, 3.25, 3.75, 4.0, and 4.5 million cycles) throughout testing between nonretentive and retentive liners; however, overall mean volumetric wear rate was not statistically significant (P = .076). Total volume loss between liner test groups was found to be significant starting after 3.5 million cycles of testing. Maximum and mean surface deviations were found to be larger for retentive liners vs. nonretentive liners by micro-computed tomography analysis across the entire articulation surface. Retentive liners undergo significantly greater volume loss and greater surface deviation compared with nonretentive liners, most notably at later time points representing extended implantation times. Additional stability afforded by retentive liners should be balanced against the potential for increased wear and potential for subsequent polyethylene wear-induced aseptic loosening.