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J Bone Joint Surg Br. 2007 Feb;89(2):174-9.

Changes in the bone mineral density in the acetabulum and proximal femur after cementless total hip replacement: alumina-on-alumina versus alumina-on-polyethylene articulation.

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Ewha Womans University College of Medicine, DongDaeMun Hospital, 70, ChongRo 6-Ga, ChongRo-Gu, Seoul 110-783, Korea.


Our aim in this prospective study was to compare the bone mineral density (BMD) around cementless acetabular and femoral components which were identical in geometry and had the same alumina modular femoral head, but differed in regard to the material of the acetabular liners (alumina ceramic or polyethylene) in 50 patients (100 hips) who had undergone bilateral simultaneous primary total hip replacement. Dual energy X-ray absorptiometry scans of the pelvis and proximal femur were obtained at one week, at one year, and annually thereafter during the five-year period of the study. At the final follow-up, the mean BMD had increased significantly in each group in acetabular zone I of DeLee and Charnley (20% (15% to 26%), p=0.003), but had decreased in acetabular zone II (24% (18% to 36%) in the alumina group and 25% (17% to 31%) in the polyethylene group, p=0.001). There was an increase in the mean BMD in zone III of 2% (0.8% to 3.2%) in the alumina group and 1% (0.6% to 2.2%) in the polyethylene group (p=0.315). There was a decrease in the mean BMD in the calcar region (femoral zone 7) of 15% (8% to 24%) in the alumina group and 14% (6% to 23%) in the polyethylene group (p<0.001). The mean bone loss in femoral zone 1 of Gruen et al was 2% (1.1% to 3.1%) in the alumina group and 3% (1.3% to 4.3%) in the polyethylene group (p=0.03), and in femoral zone 6, the mean bone loss was 15% (9% to 27%) in the alumina group and 14% (11% to 29%) in the polyethylene group compared with baseline values. There was an increase in the mean BMD on the final scans in femoral zones 2 (p=0.04), 3 (p=0.04), 4 (p=0.12) and 5 (p=0.049) in both groups. There was thus no significant difference in the bone remodelling of the acetabulum and femur five years after total hip replacement in those two groups where the only difference was in the acetabular liner.

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