Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research: February 2012 - Volume 470 - Issue 2 - p 351–356 doi: 10.1007/s11999-011-2146-x Symposium: Papers Presented at the Annual Meetings of The Hip Society

The Frank Stinchfield Award: Dislocation in Revision THA: Do Large Heads (36 and 40 mm) Result in Reduced Dislocation Rates in a Randomized Clinical Trial?

Garbuz, Donald, S., MD, MHSc1, a; Masri, Bassam, A., MD1; Duncan, Clive, P., MD, MSc1; Greidanus, Nelson, V., MD, MPH1; Bohm, Eric, R., MD, MSc2; Petrak, Martin, J., MSc, PEng2; Della Valle, Craig, J., MD3; Gross, Allan, E., MD4

Background Dislocation after revision THA is a common complication. Large heads have the potential to decrease dislocation rate, but it is unclear whether they do so in revision THA.


Questions/purposes We therefore determined whether a large femoral head (36 and 40 mm) resulted in a decreased dislocation rate compared to a standard head (32 mm).


Methods We randomized 184 patients undergoing revision THA to receive either a 32-mm head (92 patients) or 36- and 40-mm head (92 patients) and stratified patients by surgeon. The two groups had similar baseline demographics. The primary end point was dislocation. Quality-of-life (QOL) measures were WOMAC and SF-36. The mean followup for dislocation was 5 years (range, 2-7 years); the mean followup for QOL was 2.2 years (range, 1.6-4 years).


Results In the 36- and 40-mm head group, the dislocation rate was 1.1% (one of 92) versus 8.7% (eight of 92) for the 32-mm head. There was no difference in QOL outcomes between the two groups.


Conclusions Our observations confirm a large femoral head (36 or 40 mm) reduces dislocation rates in patients undergoing revision THA at short-term followup. We now routinely use large heads with a highly crosslinked polyethylene acetabular liner in all revision THAs.


Level of Evidence Level I, therapeutic study. See Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

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