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J Arthroplasty. 2002 Oct;17(7):864-9.

Success rate of modular component exchange for the treatment of an unstable total hip arthroplasty.

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Charlotte Orthopedic Research Institute and Charlotte Orthopedic Specialists Hip and Knee Center, Charlotte, North Carolina, USA.


Hip instability is the leading cause of morbidity after total hip arthroplasty. Surgical strategies that have been used to eliminate recurrent instability include component revision, trochanteric advancement, or the use of constrained components. Between 1986 and 1997, 731 revision total hip arthroplasties were performed at our institution. A total of 29 patients underwent modular component exchange to treat hip instability. After revision surgery, 16 of 29 (55%) patients experienced redislocation. Nine (31% overall) patients dislocated repeatedly after modular component exchange. Five of the 9 patients who dislocated repeatedly (17% overall) ultimately required rerevision to obtain stability. Modular component exchange is an unpredictable procedure in definitively solving hip stability problems. The limitations of this procedure in treating this complex multifactorial problem must be understood by patient and surgeon alike.

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