Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research: February 2014 - Volume 472 - Issue 2 - p 489–496 doi: 10.1007/s11999-013-3074-8 Symposium: 2013 Hip Society Proceedings

Does Femoral Neck to Cup Impingement Affect Metal Ion Levels in Hip Resurfacing?

Le Duff, Michel, J., MA1; Johnson, Alicia, J., BA1; Wassef, Andrew, J., MD1; Amstutz, Harlan, C., MD1,a

Background Impingement of the femoral neck with the acetabular component after metal-on-metal hip resurfacing arthroplasty (HRA) is a possible cause of edge loading and accelerated bearing wear. No attempt has been made to correlate radiographic impingement signs and blood metal ion levels.


Questions/purposes We (1) compared serum cobalt (CoS) and chromium (CrS) concentrations between patients with and without radiographic impingement signs treated with unilateral HRA, (2) determined whether divot depth on the femoral neck correlated with CoS and CrS, and (3) assessed the predictive value of radiographic impingement signs for high levels of CoS and CrS.


Methods A retrospective radiographic review of 141 patients with CoS and CrS analyses yielded 21 patients with and 120 without radiographic impingement signs (controls). Radiographic measurements included divot depth and orientation of the acetabular component to compute the contact patch to rim distance, a measure of functional head coverage. We defined a patient as having radiographic impingement signs if a remodeling of the femoral neck cortex showed a depression matching the predicted path of an impinging acetabular component. CoS and CrS were analyzed by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry and the radiographs were taken within 12 months of the last blood draw.


Results Median CoS and CrS were greater in the impingement group than in controls in patients with less than 10-mm contact patch to rim distances. Divot depth did not correlate with CoS or CrS. In predicting elevated ion levels (≥ 7 μg/L), the presence of a radiographic impingement sign showed a sensitivity of 50% for CoS and 33% for CrS and a specificity of 87% for both CoS and CrS.


Conclusions Radiographic impingement signs influenced CoS and CrS only when the functional head coverage was insufficient due to poor socket positioning. Radiographic impingement signs alone were not a good predictor of elevated metal ion levels.


Level of Evidence Level III, diagnostic study. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

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