High failure rate of a modern, proximally roughened, cemented stem for total hip arthroplasty
Arthroplasty, Replacement, Hip
The role of surface finish on the survivorship of cemented femoral stems continues to be debated. A total of 34 proximally roughened cemented stems were implanted in 33 consecutive patients undergoing total hip arthroplasty by a single surgeon. An alarmingly high failure rate was observed, prompting a retrospective chart review, analysis of radiographs, and evaluation of retrieved stems and pathological specimens. Nineteen patients were available with more than two years follow-up. Of these 19 patients, nine stems had failed (47%) due to severe osteolysis and stem loosening. Failures were significantly more common in the male gender (p<0.005), and young (p=0.05), tall (p<0.002), and heavy patients (p<0.004). All failed revised hips showed severe metallosis, with both gross and microscopic evidence of metallic shedding from the stems. Our findings suggest that this proximally roughened stem is susceptible to early failure. Failure is characterized by stem debonding, subsidence within the cement mantle, shedding of metallic and cement particles due to fretting, and rapidly progressive osteolysis. These findings have been observed with other rough surface finish cemented stems.