Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research: December 2013 - Volume 471 - Issue 12 - p 3838–3846 doi: 10.1007/s11999-013-2873-2 Symposium: 2012 International Hip Society Proceedings

Femoral Remodeling Around Charnley Total Hip Arthroplasty Is Unpredictable

Teusink, Matthew, J., MD1; Callaghan, Katharine, A., BA1; Klocke, Noelle, F., MS1; Goetz, Devon, D., MD2; Callaghan, John, J., MD1, 3, a

Background There are two unusual remodeling patterns of the proximal femur around well-fixed Charnley total hip arthroplasties: cortical thinning leading to endosteal widening around the femoral component and hypertrophy of the distal femoral cortex. Previous studies have shown remodeling patterns are affected by stem design and occur early postoperatively. It is unclear if these changes are related to patient demographics or if they progress throughout the lifetime of the implant.


Questions/purposes We determined if patient demographic variables influence remodeling patterns after cemented Charnley total hip arthroplasty and if the observed remodeling changes persist long-term.


Methods We retrospectively reviewed the radiographs of 106 well-fixed Charnley femoral components. Using a novel digital edge detection program, we determined the femoral remodeling pattern and time-related changes in femoral dimensions. The minimum followup was 20 years (mean, 25.3 years; range, 19.5-37 years).


Results We found no association between remodeling type and age at surgery, sex, preoperative diagnosis, body mass index, or postoperative activity level. There was also no association between initial implant alignment and remodeling type. Cortical thickening in the distal hypertrophy group was an early phenomenon occurring primarily within the first 2 years, whereas cortical thinning begins later and is a more progressive process.


Conclusions These data show remodeling after cemented Charnley total hip arthroplasty is not related to patient demographic variables; however, distal cortical hypertrophy can be predicted in the early postoperative period.


Level of Evidence Level IV, therapeutic study. See Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

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