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Hip Int. 2008 Apr-Jun;18(2):69-74.

Uncemented stems in hip replacement--hydroxyapatite or plain porous: does it matter? Based on a prospective study of HA Omnifit stems at 15-years minimum follow-up.

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  • 1Orthopaedic Research and Imaging Center in Arthroplasty, Bruay Labuissiere, France.


For many years, acrylic cement has been regarded as the unique available means for a long term and secure fixation of components in hip arthroplasty. A new generation of uncemented implants coated in hydroxyapatite (HA) has arisen since the mid-1980s, aiming to provide a 'biological interface' between metal and surrounding bone, and thus the hydroxyapatite interface was defined some years ago as a distinct entity from both cemented and 'plain porous' fixation. Based upon our 20-year experience with the HA Omnifit stem, this paper aims to discuss the efficiency of hydroxyapatite as a means of fixation for femoral components in hip arthroplasty, then examine whether the addition of a calcium phosphate layer induces any adverse effects, and finally make comparisons between HA-coated versus porous hip stems reported in the literature. With respect to fixation of femoral components in hip arthroplasty we report excellent results from the partially coated HA Omnifit stem in our series, with 99.20% of survival rate at 17-year follow-up, these results being consistent and similar to other HA series in the literature. HA 'uncemented' fixation can therefore be considered reliable and efficient. Furthermore, two decades of hydroxyapatite coatings have resulted in the identification of no major adverse effects. In fact calcium phosphate ions participate in the physiological turn-over of bone remodelling, and the HA coating is replaced by new bone formation without any fibrous tissue layer. Since HA particles are biodegradable and do not produce any inflammatory reaction in the surrounding bone, fears of osteolysis or third body wear due to HA debris have not been confirmed. Finally, comparison between HA versus plain porous femoral components through the literature has demonstrated better results with HA than porous alone both in terms of the quantity and quality of bone remodelling, and the potential migration and subsidence of the stem.

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