Low plasticity burnishing improves fretting fatigue resistance in bone-anchored implants for amputation prostheses
Fretting is a common problem for modular orthopaedic implants which may lead to mechanical failure of the implant or inflammatory tissue responses due excessive release of wear debris. Compressive residual stresses at the contacting surfaces may alleviate the problem. Here we investigate the potential of a surface enhancement method known as low plasticity burnishing (LPB) to increase the fretting resistance of bone-anchored implants for skeletal attachment of limb prostheses. Rotation bending fatigue tests performed on LPB treated and untreated test specimens demonstrate that the LPB treatment leads to statistically significantly increased resistance to fretting fatigue (LPB treated test specimens withstood on average 108 780 load cycles as compared with 37 845 load cycles for untreated test specimens, p = 0.004). LPB treated test specimens exhibited less wear at the modular interface as compared with untreated test specimens. This surface treatment may lead to reduced risk of fretting induced component failure with the consequence of a reduced need for implant revisions.