MoM Biomechanical and Biologic Failure Mechanisms

Karthikeyan E. Ponnusamy, MD, and Nicholas J. Giori, MD

The resurgence of metal-on-metal (MoM) bearings about 10 years ago was due in part to efforts to avoid the wear-associated complications of metal-on-polyethylene (MoP) bearings. MoM bearings also allowed the use of larger diameter femoral head components, which could theoretically decrease dislocation rates.

MoM bearings gained approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) through the 510(k) premarket notification pathway that does not require testing prior to marketing of the device. In 2006, 35 percent of U.S. hip arthroplasties used a MoM bearing; approximately 1 million patients received MoM bearings during the past 20 years.

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