Acta Orthopaedica, 84:4, 353-359, DOI: 10.3109/17453674.2013.810517

Risk factors for aseptic loosening of Müller-type straight stems

Martin Clauss, Silke Gersbach, Andre Butscher & Thomas Ilchmann

Background and purpose Even small differences in design variables for the femoral stem may influence the outcome of a hip arthroplasty. We performed a risk factor analysis for aseptic loosening of 4 different versions of cemented Müller-type straight stems with special emphasis on design modifications (2 shapes, MSS or SL, and 2 materials, CoNiCrMo (Co) or Ti-6Al-7Nb (Ti)).

Methods We investigated 828 total hip replacements, which were followed prospectively in our in-house register. All stems were operated in the same setup, using Sulfix-6 bone cement and a second-generation cementing technique. Demographic and design-specific risk factors were analyzed using an adjusted Cox regression model.

Results The 4 versions showed marked differences in 15-year stem survival with aseptic loosening as the endpoint: 94% (95% CI: 89–99) for MSS Co, 83% (CI: 75–91) for SL Co, 81% (CI: 76–87) for MSS Ti and 63% (CI: 56–71) for SL Ti. Cox regression analysis showed a relative risk (RR) for aseptic loosening of 3 (CI: 2–5) for stems made of Ti and of 2 (CI: 1–2) for the SL design. The RR for aseptic stem loosening increased to 8 (CI: 4–15) when comparing the most and the least successful designs (MSS Co and SL Ti).

Interpretation Cemented Müller-type straight stems should be MSS-shaped and made of a material with high flexural strength (e.g. cobalt-chrome). The surface finish should be polished (Ra < 0.4 µm). These technical aspects combined with modern cementing techniques would improve the survival of Müller-type straight stems. This may be true for all types of cemented stems.

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