Since the first use of ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene as a bearing material, research and development efforts have sought to improve wear resistance, increase longevity and lessen the potential for debris mediated adverse tissue responses. A series of second generation sequentially cross-linked and annealed tibial bearings were analysed after several bearings sent for routine retrieval analysis showed oxidative degradation including subsurface whitening, cracking and gross material loss. Evaluation incorporated visual and white banding assessment, mechanical testing and spectroscopy analysis. Whilst visual observation and white banding assessment confirmed oxidative changes, a decrease in mechanical properties and increasing ketone oxidation index as a function of time in vivo suggest time dependent oxidative degradation. Clinically relevant degradation of the sequentially cross-linked and annealed tibial bearings was observed.