Acta Orthopaedica, 89:2, 234-239, DOI: 10.1080/17453674.2018.1431854

Risk of cancer after primary total hip replacement: The influence of bearings, cementation and the material of the stem

Vesna Levašič, Ingrid Milošev & Vesna Zadnik

Background and purpose — Despite the increasing number of total hip replacements (THRs), their systemic influence is still not known. We have studied the influence of specific features of THRs—the bearing surface, the use of bone cement and the material of the stem—on the cancer incidence.

Patients and methods — In a retrospective cohort study we identified 8,343 patients with THRs performed at Valdoltra Hospital from September 1, 1997 to December 31, 2009. Patient data were linked to national cancer and population registries. The standardized incidence ratios (SIR) and Poisson regression relative risks (RR) were calculated for all and specific cancers.

Results — General cancer risk in our cohort was comparable to the population risk. Comparing with population, the risk of prostate cancer was statistically significantly higher in patients with metal-on-metal bearings (SIR =1.35); with metal-on-polyethylene bearings (SIR =1.30), with non-cemented THRs (SIR =1.40), and with titanium alloy THRs (SIR =1.41). In these last 3 groups there was a lower risk of hematopoietic tumors (SIR =0.69; 0.66 and 0.66 respectively). Risk of kidney cancer was significantly higher in the non-metal-on-metal, non-cemented, and titanium alloy groups (SIR =1.30; 1.46 and 1.41 respectively). Risk of colorectal and lung cancer was significantly lower in the investigated cohort (SIR =0.82 and 0.83, respectively). Risk for all cancers combined as well as for prostate and skin cancer, shown by Poisson analysis, was higher in the metal-on-metal group compared with non-metal-on-metal group (RR =1.56; 2.02 and 1.92, respectively).

Interpretation — Some associations were found between the THRs’ features, especially a positive association between metal-on-metal bearings, and specific cancers.

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