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Maccauro G., Nizegorodcew T., Lorini G., Pilloni L., De Santis E.
Background. In spite of the improving of prostheses and internal fixation devices manufacturing technologies, orthopaedic implants corrosion is still one of the most important causes of mechanical properties depletion and then of failure.
Methods. On the basis of a specific implant retrieval protocol developed and used at the Department of Orthopedics of the Catholic University, the typical aspects of orthopedic metals corrosion are analysed. Seventy-seven (40 total hip or knee replacements and 37 internal fixation devices) explants were tested with visual non-destructive procedure (naked eye and stereomicroscopy).
Results. In our series different kinds of corrosion were observed (pitting, fretting, crevice, stress and fatigue). On the contrary galvanic and intergranular corrosion have never been observed.
Conclusions. On the basis of the observation of different kind of metal corrosion in 53 of the 77 implants analysed, the conclusion is drawn that quality control may be increased as well as a specific data bank may be introduced and a national protocol applied to better understand characteristics of implant failure.