A hip joint replacement is considered one of the most successful orthopedic surgical procedures although it involves challenges that must be overcome. The patient group undergoing total hip arthroplasty now includes younger and more active patients who require a broad range of motion and a longer service lifetime of the implant. The current replacement joint results are not fully satisfactory for these patients’ demands. As particle release is one of the main issues, pre-clinical experimental wear testing of total hip replacement components is an invaluable tool for evaluating new implant designs and materials. The aim of the study was to investigate the cup tensional state by varying the clearance between head and cup. For doing this we use a novel hard-on-soft finite element model with kinematic and dynamic conditions calculated from a musculoskeletal multibody model during the gait. Four different usual radial clearances were considered, ranging from 0 to 0.5 mm. The results showed that radial clearance plays a key role in acetabular cup stress-strain during the gait, showing from the 0 value to the highest, 0.5, a difference of 44% and 35% in terms of maximum pressure and deformation, respectively. Moreover, the presented model could be usefully exploited for complete elastohydrodynamic synovial lubrication modelling of the joint, with the aim of moving towards an increasingly realistic total hip arthroplasty in silico wear assessment accounting for differences in radial clearances.
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