The Journal of Arthroplasty, Volume 35, Issue 5, 1303 - 1306

Can Total Hip Arthroplasty for Hip Fracture Be Safely Performed by Trainees? A Retrospective Cohort Study

MacDonald, David R.W. et al.


No research is available comparing trainee and consultant outcomes for total hip arthroplasty (THA) for hip fracture. The aim of our study is to determine whether trainee-performed and consultant-performed THA produced equivalent radiological outcomes and complication rates for this patient cohort.


We performed a retrospective cohort study at our institution, with inclusion of patients who underwent a primary THA for hip fracture between March 30, 2017 and February 07, 2019. Relevant perioperative and outcome data were collected through electronic records. Radiological outcomes were assessed by 2 independent reviewers. Follow-up was performed until August 07, 2019.


Eighty-seven patients were included in the study. The mean length of follow-up was 13 months (range, 6-29). Forty-three patients underwent consultant-led operations and 44 underwent trainee-performed (ST3-ST8) operations under consultant supervision. There were no significant differences between the 2 groups regarding complication risk (no recorded dislocation, infection requiring reoperation, revision or 30-day mortality in either group). There were also no significant differences between trainees and consultants regarding the radiological outcomes of mean acetabular component inclination (37.2° vs 36.7°, respectively, P = .74); offset difference (+7.1 mm vs +7.2 mm, respectively, P = .91); leg length difference (+6.4 mm vs +5.7 mm, respectively, P = .56); and barrack grade for femoral cement mantle.


This study suggests that radiological and safety outcomes for trainees performing THA for hip fracture with appropriate supervision are equivalent to consultant surgeons. However, given the low event rate of complications, a larger study is required to determine whether there is any statistically significant difference.

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