Background: Highly cross-linked polyethylene (HXLPE) liners have been developed to address the wear-related problems associated with conventional polyethylene (CPE) such as osteolysis or aseptic loosening in total hip arthroplasty (THA). In this systematic meta-analysis, we compared the long-term efficacy in preventing radiological osteolysis and revision surgery between HXLPE and CPE. Methods: We included 14 studies that compared HXLPE and CPE reporting the incidence of wear-related complications with a minimum follow-up of 10 years. We investigated 5 wear-related complications: osteolysis, excessive wear, linear wear rate, revision surgery due to wear, and progress of osteolysis/aseptic loosening. We conducted a pair-wise meta-analysis to estimate odds ratio (OR) and a proportional meta-analysis to estimate the incidence of each complication. Results: Among 1,175 THAs, 220 osteolysis and 78 wear-related revisions were detected. The use of HXLPE reduced the risk of overall osteolysis (OR 0.30; P = .001), excessive wear (OR 0.10; P < .001), linear wear rate (weighted mean difference 0.09; P < .001), the risk of overall wear-related revisions (OR 0.06; P < .001), and revisions due to aseptic loosening (OR 0.23; P = .015). As per the proportional meta-analysis, the pooled prevalence of osteolysis, excessive wear, and the overall wear-related revision rate were 14%, 8%, and 3% in HXLPE and 25%, 33%, and 20% in CPE, respectively. Conclusion: The current evidence shows that HXLPE dramatically reduced the rate of osteolysis and wear-related revision surgery. However, as polyethylene wear and osteolysis still lead to revision surgery, ongoing clinical and retrieval studies are required to analyze long-term outcomes.
- hip arthroplasty
- radiological wear