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J Arthroplasty. 2014 Sep;29(9 Suppl):139-42. doi: 10.1016/j.arth.2014.03.055. Epub 2014 May 27.

Do you have to remove a corroded femoral stem?

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Anderson Orthopaedic Research Institute, Alexandria, Virginia; Inova Center for Joint Replacement at Mount Vernon Hospital, Alexandria, Virginia.
Anderson Orthopaedic Research Institute, Alexandria, Virginia.


Corrosion at the head-neck taper has been recently identified as a cause of adverse local tissue reaction. There are no guidelines concerning removal of fixed femoral components when corrosion is present. The objective of this study is to report the survivorship when a new metal ball is placed on a corroded stem. We examined 86 retrieved femoral heads from metal-on-polyethylene THAs that underwent head and liner exchanges after a minimum 10 years in-vivo and evaluated the subsequent survivorship. There were 7 re-revisions (8.1%) but none were for corrosion-related diagnoses and there was no difference in the survivorship between the 32 THAs with high-grade head taper corrosion and the 54 THAs with low-grade corrosion. We do not currently recommend removing well-fixed femoral stems with corrosion.


ball and liner exchange for polyethylene wear and osteolysis; modular head taper-stem trunnion corrosion; removal of well-fixed femoral component; revision total hip arthroplasty; survivorship after retaining a femoral stem with corrosion

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