Bone Joint J 2019;101-B:317–324.

Prevalence and natural course of pseudotumours after small-head metal-on-metal total hip arthroplasty

J-K. Moon, Y. Kim, K-T. Hwang, J-H. Yang, J-A. Ryu, Y-H. Kim


The present study investigated the five-year interval changes in pseudotumours and measured serum metal ions at long-term follow-up of a previous report of 28 mm diameter metal-on-metal (MoM) total hip arthroplasty (THA).

Patients and Methods

A total of 72 patients (mean age 46.6 years (37 to 55); 43 men, 29 women; 91 hips) who underwent cementless primary MoM THA with a 28 mm modular head were included. The mean follow-up duration was 20.3 years (18 to 24). All patients had CT scans at a mean 15.1 years (13 to 19) after the index operation and subsequent follow-up at a mean of 20.2 years (18 to 24). Pseudotumour volume, type of mass, and new-onset pseudotumours were evaluated using CT scanning. Clinical outcomes were assessed by Harris Hip Score (HHS) and the presence of groin pain. Serum metal ion (cobalt (Co) and chromium (Cr)) levels were measured at the latest follow-up.


At final follow-up, pseudotumours were observed in 26/91 hips (28.6%). There was an increase in volume of the pseudotumour in four hips (15.4%), no change in volume in 21 hips (80.8%), and a decrease in volume in one hip (3.8%). There were no new-onset pseudotumours. There was no significant difference in HHS between patients with and without pseudotumours. At final follow-up, mean serum Co ion levels and median Co:Cr ratios were significantly greater in patients with pseudotumours, but the serum Cr ion levels were not significantly different.


At a mean 20 years of follow-up, pseudotumours were observed in 26/91 hips (28.6%) with no new-onset pseudotumours during subsequent follow-up. Most pseudotumours in small-head MoM THA were static in volume and asymptomatic with normal serum metal ion levels.

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