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J Arthroplasty. 2017 Oct;32(10):3157-3162. doi: 10.1016/j.arth.2017.05.031. Epub 2017 May 22.

Alarmingly High Rate of Implant Fractures in One Modular Femoral Stem Design: A Comparison of Two Implants.

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Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Illinois Bone & Joint Institute, Morton Grove, Illinois; Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Advocate Lutheran General Hospital, Park Ridge, Illinois; Department of Orthopedic Surgery, NorthShore University HealthSystem - Skokie Hospital, Skokie, Illinois.
Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Illinois Bone & Joint Institute, Morton Grove, Illinois.



Reports of implant fracture at the modular junction have been seen in modular neck designs, stem-sleeve modular femoral stems, and diaphyseal engaging bi-body modular stems. To date, however, there has never been a direct comparison between 2 different implant designs from the same modular family. The purpose of this study is to compare the rate of implant failure of 2 such stem-sleeve modular femoral stem designs, the S-ROM and Emperion, to further identify factors which increase the risk of this mode of failure.


A retrospective, single surgeon, review of our institutional database was performed to compare the 2 groups of patients.


A total of 1168 total hip arthroplasty procedures were included in our analysis, 547 (47%) with Emperion and 621 (53%) with S-ROM. Eight (1.5%) fractures in 7 patients occurred in the Emperion group compared to 1 (0.2%) fracture in the S-ROM group (P = .015).


The precise cause of the stem fractures in our study remains unknown and is likely multifactorial. Given the unexpectedly high rate of catastrophic implant failures in the form of stem fracture at the stem-sleeve junction, we recommend more judicious use of modularity in primary total hip arthroplasty.


catastrophic failure; fatigue fracture; fretting; modular femoral stem; total hip arthroplasty

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