Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research: February 2012 - Volume 470 - Issue 2 - p 388–394 doi: 10.1007/s11999-011-2069-6 Symposium: Papers Presented at the Annual Meetings of The Hip Society

Low Incidence of Groin Pain and Early Failure with Large Metal Articulation Total Hip Arthroplasty

Meding, John, B., MD1, a; Meding, Lindsey, K.1; Keating, Michael, E., MD1; Berend, Michael, E., MD1

Background Large-diameter metal-on-metal articulations reportedly improve stability and wear in THAs. However, some reports suggest some patients have unexplained hip and early failures with these implants. Thus, the potential benefits may be offset by these concerns. However, the incidence of these problems is not clearly established.


Questions/purposes We therefore assessed hip pain, function, osteolysis, and complications in patients with large-diameter metal-on-metal THA.


Patients and Methods We retrospectively reviewed 611 patients who had 681 large-diameter metal-on-metal THAs with the same cup and head design. The average age at operation was 62 years, 53% of the THAs were in men, and the average body mass index was 32 kg/m2. The diagnosis was osteoarthritis in 92% of the THAs. The minimum followup was 24 months (mean, 37 months; range, 24-60 months).


Results Nine of the 611 patients (1.5%) experienced moderate or severe pain in the hip region that we considered to be coming from an extraarticular source in each case. Harris hip scores for pain averaged 42 points. Total Harris hip scores averaged 93 points. Cup abduction averaged 42°, and cup anteversion averaged 26°. There were no infections. Three cups (0.4%) were considered radiographically loose. All were secondary to inadequate seating of the shell.


Conclusion Our observations suggest with this implant the concerns of higher incidences of groin pain, early failures, and adverse tissue reactions were not confirmed. Early successes or failures with large-diameter metal-on-metal articulations may be implant specific.


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

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