The Journal of Arthroplasty, Volume 35, Issue 4, 1064 - 1068

Outcomes of Isolated Head and Liner Exchange Using Large Femoral Heads and Modern Liners in Revision Total Hip Arthroplasty

Sutter, E. Grant et al.


Previous reports on the outcomes of isolated head and liner exchange in revision total hip arthroplasty have found high rates of instability after these surgeries. Most reports have studied constructs using ≤28 mm femoral heads. The purpose of this study was to determine if modern techniques with the use of larger head sizes can improve the rate of instability after head and liner exchange.


We identified 138 hips in 132 patients who underwent isolated head and liner exchange for polyethylene wear/osteolysis (57%), acute infection (27%), metallosis (13%), or other (2%). All patients underwent revision with either 32 (23%), 36 (62%), or 40 (15%) mm diameter heads. Cross-linked polyethylene was used in all revisions. Lipped and/or offset liners were used in 104 (75%) hips. Average follow-up was 3.5 (1.0-9.1) years. Statistical analyses were performed with significance set at P < .05.


Revision-free survivorship for any cause was 94.6% and for aseptic causes was 98.2% at 5 years. 11 (8%) hips experienced a complication with 7 (5%) hips requiring additional revision surgery. After revision, 4 (3%) hips experienced dislocation, 5 (4%) hips experienced infection, and 1 (1%) hip was revised for trunnionosis. No demographic or surgical factors significantly affected outcomes.


Our study shows that isolated head and liner exchange using large femoral heads and modern liners provides for better stability than previous reports. The most common complication was infection. We did not identify specific patient, surgical, or implant factors that reduced the risk of instability or other complication.

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