The Journal of Arthroplasty, Volume 34, Issue 7, 1395 - 1399

High Failure at a Minimum 5-Year Follow-Up in Primary Total Hip Arthroplasty Using a Modular Femoral Trunnion

Nahhas, Cindy R. et al.


Modular femoral trunnions enable the surgeon to independently adjust offset, leg length, and anteversion in total hip arthroplasty (THA). However, modularity may result in an increased risk of fretting and corrosion along with a higher risk of implant dissociation or fracture. The purpose of this study is to evaluate mid-term survivorship of THAs using a cementless modular system.


A consecutive series of 221 patients who underwent a primary THA using the ALFA II modular stem by a single surgeon between 2002 and 2004 were reviewed. Survivorship of the ALFA II modular hip system was evaluated at a minimum of 5 years postoperatively.


Of the 221 patients, 28 (12.7%) died from causes unrelated to the surgery before adequate follow-up, and 64 (29.0%) patients were lost to follow-up. The remaining 129 patients had a mean 6.5-year (range: 5-8 years) follow-up. All-cause survivorship of the modular stem system was 81% (95% confidence interval = 69-90) at a mean 6.5-year follow-up. Of the 25 (19.4%) cases requiring revision surgery, 52.0% was for dissociation of the modular components, 32.0% was for fracture of the prosthesis, 12.0% was for instability/multiple dislocations, and 4.0% was for chronic septic THA. Body mass index (odds ratio = 1.080) and offset (odds ratio = 1.254) were independent risk factors for mechanical failures of the modular stem system.


The modular stem hip system of interest in this study demonstrates a high failure rate at mid-term follow-up, and we caution against the use of similar designs in primary THAs.

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