Acta Orthopaedica, 85:6, 556-561, DOI: 10.3109/17453674.2014.958810

Design modifications of the uncemented Furlong hip stem result in minor early subsidence but do not affect further stability

Erik Weber, Martin Sundberg & Gunnar Flivik

Background and purpose — Even small design modifications of uncemented hip stems may alter the postoperative 3-D migration pattern. The Furlong Active is an uncemented femoral stem which, in terms of design, is based on its precursor—the well-proven Furlong HAC—but has undergone several design changes. The collar has been removed on the Active stem along with the lateral fin; it is shorter and has more rounded edges in the proximal part. We compared the migration patterns of the uncemented Furlong HAC stem and the modified Furlong Active stem in a randomized, controlled trial over 5 years using radiostereometry (RSA).

Patients and methods — 50 patients with primary osteoarthritis were randomized to receive either the HAC stem or the Active stem. The patients underwent repeated RSA examinations (postoperatively, at 3 months, and after 1, 2, and 5 years) and conventional radiography, and they also filled out hip-specific questionnaires.

Results — During the first 3 months, the collarless Active stem subsided to a greater extent than the collar-fitted HAC stem (0.99 mm vs. 0.31 mm, p = 0.05). There were, however, no other differences in movement measured by RSA or in clinical outcome between the 2 stems. After 3 months, both stem types had stabilized and almost no further migration was seen.

Interpretation — The Active stem showed no signs of unfavorable migration. Our results suggest that the osseointegration is not compromised by the new design features.

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