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J Bone Joint Surg Br. 2010 Feb;92(2):196-201. doi: 10.1302/0301-620X.92B2.22179.

Metal-backed acetabular components with conventional polyethylene: a review of 9113 primary components with a follow-up of 20 years.

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Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Haukeland University Hospital, Jonas Liesvei 65, 5021 Bergen, Norway.


The Norwegian Arthroplasty Register has shown that several designs of uncemented femoral stems give good or excellent survivorship. The overall findings for uncemented total hip replacement however, have been disappointing because of poor results with the use of metal-backed acetabular components. In this study, we exclusively investigated the medium-to long-term performance of primary uncemented metal-backed acetabular components. A total of 9113 primary uncemented acetabular components were implanted in 7937 patients between 1987 and 2007. These were included in a prospective, population-based observational study. All the implants were modular and metal-backed with ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene liners. The femoral heads were made of stainless steel, cobalt-chrome (CoCr) alloy or alumina ceramic. In all, seven different designs of acetabular component were evaluated by the Kaplan-Meier survivorship method and Cox regression analysis. Most acetabular components performed well up to seven years. When the endpoint was revision of the acetabular component because of aseptic loosening, the survival ranged between 87% and 100% at ten years. However, when the endpoint was revision for any reason, the survival estimates were 81% to 92% for the same implants at ten years. Aseptic loosening, wear, osteolysis and dislocation were the main reasons for the relatively poor overall performance of the acetabular components. Prostheses with alumina heads performed slightly better than those with stainless steel or CoCr alloy in subgroups. Whereas most acetabular components performed well at seven years, the survivorship declined with longer follow-up. Fixation was generally good. None of the metal-backed uncemented acetabular components with ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene liners in our study had satisfactory long-term results because of high rates of wear, osteolysis, aseptic loosening and dislocation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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