Acta Orthopaedica, 87:6, 575-582, DOI: 10.1080/17453674.2016.1244958

Preparation of the femoral bone cavity in cementless stems: broaching versus compaction – A 5-year randomized radiostereometric and dual X-ray absorptiometry study of 40 bilateral 1-stage operations

Mette H Hjorth, Maiken Stilling, Kjeld Søballe, Poul Torben Nielsen, Poul H Christensen & Søren Kold

Background and purpose — Short-term experimental studies have confirmed that there is superior fixation of cementless implants inserted with compaction compared to broaching of the cancellous bone.

Patients and methods — 1-stage, bilateral primary THA was performed in 28 patients between May 2001 and September 2007. The patients were randomized to femoral bone preparation with broaching on 1 side and compaction on the other side. 8 patients declined to attend the postoperative follow-up, leaving 20 patients (13 male) with a mean age of 58 (36–70) years for evaluation. The patients were followed with radiostereometric analysis (RSA) at baseline, at 6 and 12 weeks, and at 1, 2, and 5 years, and measurements of periprosthetic bone mineral density (BMD) at baseline and at 1, 2, and 5 years. The subjective part of the Harris hip score (HHS) and details of complications throughout the observation period were obtained at a mean interval of 6.3 (3.0–9.5) years after surgery.

Results — Femoral stems in the compaction group had a higher degree of medio-lateral migration (0.21 mm, 95% CI: 0.03–0.40) than femoral stems in the broaching group at 5 years (p = 0.02). No other significant differences in translations or rotations were found between the 2 surgical techniques at 2 years (p > 0.4) and 5 years (p > 0.7) postoperatively. There were no individual stems with continuous migration. Periprosthetic BMD in the 7 Gruen zones was similar at 2 years and at 5 years. Intraoperative femoral fractures occurred in 2 of 20 compacted hips, but there were none in the 20 broached hips. The HHS and dislocations were similar in the 2 groups at 6.3 (3.0–9.5) years after surgery.

Interpretation — Bone compaction as a surgical technique with the Bi-Metric stem did not show the superior outcomes expected compared to conventional broaching. Furthermore, 2 periprosthetic fractures occurred using the compaction technique, so we cannot recommend compaction for insertion of the cementless Bi-Metric stem.

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