The Journal of Arthroplasty, Volume 35, Issue 1, 193 - 197.e2

Early Results of Our International, Multicenter, Multisurgeon, Double-Blinded, Prospective, Randomized, Controlled Trial Comparing Metal-on-Metal With Ceramic-on-Metal in Total Hip Arthroplasty

Higgins, Joanna E. et al.


The aim of our prospective, multicenter, randomized, controlled trial (titled M2A-38 Ceramic-on-Metal RCT, NCT00754520) is to demonstrate noninferiority of a ceramic-on-metal (CoM) articulation compared with metal-on-metal (MoM) in total hip arthroplasty. The study arms are at 8 years since implantation, with metal ion and functional score analysis at 5 years.


We recruited 211 patients between 2009 and 2011. The patients were randomized to ceramic or metal. A cohort of these patients had whole blood metal ions performed yearly, and all patients underwent annual radiographic and clinical outcome assessment. All revisions were recorded and some explants were analyzed. Recruitment ceased earlier than planned owing to concerns raised with failure of MoM implants.


No significant difference was seen in patient demographics, radiographic parameters, or functional outcomes at any time point. Lower cobalt ion levels were seen in the CoM group (P < .01) at all time points. Chromium levels were significantly lower in the CoM group up to 3 years, but raised at 5 years. There were slightly fewer revisions for adverse reaction to metal debris in the CoM group. Explant analysis suggested a different wear pattern to those seen in the MoM group.


The results demonstrated that the CoM articulation behaved the same as the MoM in terms of functional outcome and radiographic parameters. The CoM coupling also demonstrates raised metal ions beyond 3 years and increasing revisions for adverse reaction to metal debris. It remains difficult to see a clinical application for CoM and further exploration or use is not warranted.

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