A review on the finite element simulation of fretting wear and corrosion in the taper junction of hip replacement implants

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Taperosis/trunnionosis is a scientific term for describing tribocorrosion (fretting corrosion) at the head-neck taper junction of hip implants where two contacting surfaces are undergone oscillatory micromotions while being exposed to the body fluid. Detached ions and emitted debris, as a result of taperosis, migrate to the surrounding tissues and can cause inflammation, infection, and aseptic loosening with an ultimate possibility of implant failure. Improving the tribocorrosion performance of the head-neck junction in the light of minimising the surface damage and debris requires a better understanding of taperosis. Given its complexity associated with both the mechanical and electrochemical aspects, computational methods such as the finite element method have been recently employed for analysing fretting wear and corrosion in the taper junction. To date, there have been more efforts on the fretting wear simulation when compared with corrosion. This is because of the mechanical nature of fretting wear which is probably more straightforward for modelling. However, as a recent research advancement, corrosion has been a focus to be implemented in the finite element modelling of taper junctions. This paper aims to review finite element studies related to taperosis in the head-neck junction to provide a detailed understanding of the design parameters and their role in this failure mechanism. It also reviews and discusses the methodologies developed for simulating this complex process in the taper junction along with the simplifications, assumptions and findings reported in these studies. The current needs and future research opportunities and directions in this field are then identified and presented.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104196
Number of pages40
JournalComputers in Biology and Medicine
Early online date23 Dec 2020
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021


  • Taperosis
  • Fretting wear
  • Finite element analysis
  • Taper junction
  • Hip implants


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