Upon examination of failed total knee replacements, it has been concluded that it is the performance of the ultra high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) tibial component that governs the useful lifespan of such a joint. Severe wear of UHMWPE is associated more with tibial components of the knee than with the acetabular cups of total hip replacements. This is due to a notable lack of congruity between the articulating surfaces which leads to the presence of significant localised stresses in the femoro-tibial interface.

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