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VERILAST Technology for Hips

VERILAST Technology for Hip Replacement

How long do you want your hip replacement to last? Each year total hip replacements help roughly 285,000 Americans1 relieve their pain, improve their movement and rediscover their go.

One of the most successful orthopaedic surgeries available,2 all hip replacements are designed for the same purpose: replace the damaged bone and cartilage of the joint with smooth, artificial implants that prevent painful bone-on-bone contact.

Of course, this doesn't mean that all hip implants are the same. For example, consider wear performance; a leading cause of hip implant failure.

Just like the surfaces of your natural hip joint, friction caused when the surfaces of a hip implant rub together can cause your new hip replacement to wear down over time. This effect—not unlike what takes place inside a car's engine—is known as "implant wear."

While scientific literature indicates that cobalt chrome hip implants should be expected to last 10 to 15 years before implant wear becomes an issue, at Smith & Nephew, we've always thought we could do better. And, as today's hip patients are having surgery younger and living longer, we knew we had to do better.

How can VERILAST Technology achieve these results?

Unlike other implants, VERILAST Technology uses advanced, low-friction surfaces for both sides of the hip joint: Smith & Nephew's award-winning OXINIUM, a ceramicised metal alloy, and a highly "cross-linked" plastic. The combination of ceramicised metal and XLPE has been shown by the Australian National Joint Registry to have the highest survivorship rates of any hip bearing couple studied.4


OXINIUM Oxidized Zirconium

If you receive a hip implant made with VERILAST technology, the femoral head will be made from OXINIUM Oxidized Zirconium–a patented ceramicised metal alloy that Smith & Nephew spent more than a decade developing, and has been used in more than 200,000 hip implant procedures since 2001.

During manufacture, OXINIUM implants undergo a process that transforms the Zirconium surface into a hard, smooth ceramic–yet it retains all of the strength of the underlying metal. This means that it won't fracture like a true ceramic, yet its ceramic-like surface is 4,900 times more resistant to the kind of scratching that can cause a cobalt chrome implant to wear out before its time.5

Also, because the OXINIUM material contains <0.0035% of nickel, it's considered biocompatible for patients with metal allergy or metal sensitivity.

Finally, OXINIUM hip implants are more corrosion resistant than cobalt chrome implants. When two dissimilar metals meet, such as the junction between the hip ball and stem, there is the potential for fretting. Fretting is the electrochemical reaction that can lead to corrosion. The combination of zirconium's inherent biocompatibility and the OXINIUM material's ceramic-like oxide layer, make VERILAST Technology the optimal solution for total hip replacement.6,7

Highly Cross-Linked Polyethylene

As remarkable as OXINIUM is, it is the combination of OXINIUM on XLPE that makes VERILAST Technology.

XLPE is created by altering chemical bonds in the polyethylene to create a tighter weave at the molecular level, thus reducing the amount of wear experienced when the metal component rubs against it. You could think of it as fabric with a higher thread count.

So while we cannot say we've eliminated the #1 cause of implant failure, we believe our years of dedicated research are paying off for patients who would like to rediscover their go after surgery.

Remember, VERILAST technology is exclusive to Smith & Nephew–and only specially trained orthopedic surgeons can use Smith & Nephew implants. Find the VERILAST surgeons in your area by using the search feature on this website.

Ask your doctor if VERILAST Technology is for you. 

Looking for a surgeon in your area who is trained to use VERILAST Technology?  Click here to search. 

Important Notes:
VERILAST addresses "wear and tear," which is only one reason why a hip implant may need to be replaced. Listen carefully when your orthopedic surgeon reviews other risks that can shorten the life of your new hip–such as infection, excessive weight gain or high impact sports.

The results of laboratory wear simulation testing have not been proven to predict actual joint durability and performance in people. A reduction in wear alone may not result in improved joint durability and performance because other factors can affect joint durability and performance and cause medical conditions that may result in the need for additional surgery. These other factors were not studied as part of the testing.

Hip replacement surgery is intended to relieve hip pain and improve hip function. There are potential risks with hip replacement surgery such as loosening, fracture, dislocation, wear and infection that may result in the need for additional surgery. Do not perform high impact activities such as running and jumping unless your surgeon tells you the bone has healed and these activities are acceptable. Early device failure, breakage or loosening may occur if you do not follow your surgeon’s limitations on activity level. Early failure can happen if you do not guard your hip joint from overloading due to activity level, failure to control body weight or accidents such as falls. Talk to your doctor to determine what treatment may be best for you.


1,2. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeon website,

3. Parikh, P. Hill, V. Pawar and J. Sprague, "Long-term simulator wear performance of an advanced bearing technology for THA," Orthop Res Soc, San Antonio, TX, Jan 26-29, 2013, 1028.

4. Australian Orthopaedic Association National Joint Replacement Registry Annual Report. Adelaide: AOA: 2012

5. G. Hunter and M. Long, "Abrasive wear of oxidized Zr-2.5Nb, CoCrMo, and Ti-6Al-4V against bone cement," 6th World Biomaterials Cong. Trans., Society for Biomaterials,Minneapolis, MN, 2000, p. 835.

6. Pawar V, Jones B, Sprague J, Salehi A, Hunter G. Acidic Fretting Tests of Oxidized Zr-2.5Nb, CoCr, and SS Femoral Heads, ASMI, 2004.

7. Hallab NJ, Jacobs JJ. Biologic effects of implant debris. Bull NYU Hosp Jt Dis. 2009;67(2):182-8.


The information listed on this site is for informational and educational purposes and is not meant as medical advice. Every patient's case is unique and each patient should follow his or her doctor's specific instructions. Please discuss nutrition, medication and treatment options with your doctor to make sure you are getting the proper care for your particular situation. The information on this site does not replace your doctor's specific instructions.