Journal of Orthopaedic Research Volume 38, Issue 9 p. 2040-2049

Wear measurements with use of radiostereometric analysis in total hip arthroplasty with obscured femoral head

Per‐Erik Johanson Bita Shareghi Michael Eriksson Johan Kärrholm

Radiostereometric analysis (RSA) has evolved as gold standard in the evaluation of wear and especially as regards novel hip implant materials. However, several cup shell materials and articulation types used in total hip arthroplasty (THA) cannot be studied due to poor radiographic visibility of the femoral head (FH). We addressed this problem with use of a point transfer function in the RSA software to indirectly measure FH translations with use of stem markers. In a base examination, the stem marker segment and cup center, as an approximation for the FH center position, were mathematically coupled. Thereafter, in subsequent examinations, we used the point transfer function to calculate FH positions from stem marker positions. To determine the variance of the difference of directly and indirectly measured FH positions, four stem marker configurations were studied in THAs with radiographically visible FHs. For the axis with least variance we also compared directly and indirectly measured translation up to 7 years. Finally, we applied the method in a ceramic‐on‐ceramic (COC) articulation and measured proximal translation up to 7 years and also estimated precision. Vertical translations had the smallest variation between measured and calculated FH position. Directly and indirectly measured vertical FH translation correlated well but indirect measurements had increased variance. Proximal steady‐state penetration rate in uncemented COC THA was −0.003 (SD 0.021) mm/year with 99% precision along the vertical axis measuring 0.34 mm. The point transfer function can be used to measure proximal FH penetration, but with less precision than direct RSA.

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