This study presented the results from a laboratory simulator that flexed and abducted CoCrMo femoral heads (used to simulate glenospheres) half of which had a 5 mm diameter hole drilled in the pole of the articulating surface and custom humeral cups manufactured from ultra high molecular weight polyethylene - thus these were not actual reverse total shoulder components.
Loading was for 5,000,000 cycles under a compressive load to simulate 90 to 135% of body weight. The resulting particles were found to be in the size range known to be taken in by phagocytes (< 5 micrometers in diameter). The presence of the hole did not affect the wear rate or nature of the particles.
As the authors point out the primary method of polyethylene failure is notching, which we have discussed in a prior post.
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