The Journal of Arthroplasty, Volume 34, Issue 7, 1483 - 1491

No Threshold Exists for Recommending Revision Surgery in Metal-on-Metal Hip Arthroplasty Patients With Adverse Reactions to Metal Debris: A Retrospective Cohort Study of 346 Revisions

Matharu, Gulraj S. et al.


Surgeons currently have difficulty when managing metal-on-metal hip arthroplasty (MoMHA) patients with adverse reactions to metal debris (ARMD). This stems from a lack of evidence, which is emphasized by the variability in the recommendations proposed by different worldwide regulatory authorities for considering MoMHA revision surgery. We investigated predictors of poor outcomes following MoMHA revision surgery performed for ARMD to help inform the revision threshold and type of reconstruction.


We retrospectively studied 346 MoMHA revisions for ARMD performed at 2 European centers. Preoperative (metal ions/imaging) and intraoperative (findings, components removed/implanted) factors were used to predict poor outcomes. Poor outcomes were postoperative complications (including re-revision), 90-day mortality, and poor Oxford Hip Score.


Poor outcomes occurred in 38.5%. Shorter time (under 4 years) to revision surgery was the only preoperative predictor of poor outcomes (odds ratio [OR] = 2.12, confidence interval [CI] = 1.00-4.46). Prerevision metal ions and imaging did not influence outcomes. Single-component revisions (vs all-component revisions) increased the risk of poor outcomes (OR = 2.99, CI = 1.50-5.97). Intraoperative modifiable factors reducing the risk of poor outcomes included the posterior approach (OR = 0.22, CI = 0.10-0.49), revision head sizes ≥36 mm (vs <36 mm: OR = 0.37, CI = 0.18-0.77), ceramic-on-polyethylene revision bearings (OR vs ceramic-on-ceramic = 0.30, CI = 0.14-0.66), and metal-on-polyethylene revision bearings (OR vs ceramic-on-ceramic = 0.37, CI = 0.17-0.83).


No threshold exists for recommending revision in MoMHA patients with ARMD. However postrevision outcomes were surgeon modifiable. Optimal outcomes may be achieved if surgeons use the posterior approach, revise all MoMHA components, and use ≥36 mm ceramic-on-polyethylene or metal-on-polyethylene articulations.

Download article