Short stems in total hip replacement: evidence on primary stability according to the stem typeDrosos, G. I., & Touzopoulos, P. (2019).
As the prevalence of total hip replacement is increasing in younger patients, less invasive implants (short stems) are becoming more favourable. However, despite the advantages of these stems, clinical results with a follow-up of more than 10 years are limited to a very few stem designs.
There has been an increase in publications recently – mechanical and clinical studies – concerning the primary stability of short stems. Primary stem stability is an important factor as it reflects final stem stabilisation and is related to the clinical results of the prosthesis.
We conducted a systematic review of the literature to retrieve evidence concerning primary implant stability in short stems – as expressed by implant micromotion and stem subsidence – according to our previously proposed short-stem classification.
Mechanical in vitro studies on stem micromotion are very few and limited to type 2 “partial collum” short stems. The results are comparable to those of stems with a known long-term excellent clinical course.
Clinical results concerning stem migration patterns are also limited to some of the commercially available short stems. Although comparative studies are very few, the results for most of the short stems are similar to those of standard stems.
There are promising results concerning biomechanical studies of the initial micromotion of short stems, as well as clinical results of stem migration patterns. Long-term clinical studies are needed in order to confirm these findings. The existing literature concerns very few of the many commercially available implants.