The Journal of Arthroplasty, Volume 32, Issue 4, 1250 - 1254

Effectiveness of Constrained Liner Use During Harrington Hip Reconstruction in Oncology Patient

Bagsby, Deren T. et al.


Patients with destructive acetabular lesions are at high risk for morbidity. Harrington described reinforcing acetabular diseased bone with methylmethacrylate, supplemented by metal fixation, to allow total hip reconstruction. However, all published studies using this technique report dislocations. We believe that initial use of constrained liners would help alleviate dislocation risk, without increasing component loosening or polyethylene wear.


Sixty-eight patients who underwent Harrington hip arthroplasties for metastatic cancer from August 2005 to March 2015 were identified. All patients had a constrained acetabular liner implanted during their index procedure. Electronic medical records and radiographs were reviewed. A literature review of studies with similar technique was used as a historical control.


Forty-seven patients (69.2%) died 22.7 ± 22.7 months after surgery, at age 62.4 ± 17.2 years. At an average clinical follow-up of 9.9 ± 14.2 months (range 2-50 months), we found no incidents of dislocation. No patients had component failure requiring revision or evidence of loosening on x-ray. Thirteen papers, comprising 185 patients, demonstrated 39 patients (21.1%) with dislocations and 13 patients (7.0%) requiring revision surgery for aseptic loosening.


Modified Harrington technique has demonstrated relative durability when reconstructing metastatic acetabular disease, although dislocation occurs in approximately 20% of patients. This study demonstrates that initial use of a constrained liner can alleviate postoperative dislocations without increasing risk of perioperative complications. Even modest reduction in complications during the limited lifespan of oncologic patients can have dramatic positive effects on quality of life.

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