Impaction bone-grafting was performed before insertion of a collarless, polished, tapered femoral stem with cement in thirty-four revision total hip arthroplasties (thirty-four patients) that were done because of aseptic loosening. The average duration of follow-up was thirty months (range, twenty-four to forty-two months). The operation was the initial revision in twenty-eight patients (82 per cent). Twenty-two patients (65 per cent) also had revision of the acetabular component. Complications included four intraoperative and two postoperative fractures of the femur as well as one dislocation (at one month). Two patients (6 per cent) needed a repeat revision of the femoral stem because of aseptic loosening at twenty-six and thirty-six months postoperatively. Both of these patients had an associated fracture of the femur (one was intraoperative, and the other was postoperative). Subsidence was common (thirteen patients; 38 per cent) and averaged 10.1 millimeters (range, four to thirty-one millimeters). Although the study group was relatively small, with the numbers available subsidence was not found to be associated with the preoperative or postoperative hip score, segmental or cavitary femoral defects, femoral ectasia, intraoperative fracture of the femur, strut-grafting, trochanteric osteotomy, or varus position of the femoral component. Incorporation of the allograft into the trabecular bone and secondary remodeling were noted radiographically in thirty-two (94 per cent) and fourteen (41 per cent) of the patients, respectively, often within one year. Although the duration of follow-up was relatively short, no localized resorption of the allograft occurred and cortical repair was noted in one patient at three years. At the most recent follow-up evaluation, the Harris hip scores had improved from a preoperative average of 51 points (range, 32 to 90 points) to an average of 87 points (range, 65 to 100 points) and twenty-eight patients (82 per cent) had no or only slight pain. Despite the satisfactory early clinical results, we remain concerned about the high rate of fracture of the femur and the rate and extent of subsidence of the femoral component. On the basis of the worrisome findings after this two-year period, we recommend that impaction bone-grafting be used only when proximal femoral osteopenia is so severe that stability cannot be obtained with insertion of a long-stemmed femoral component without cement. In that setting, impaction bone-grafting may be considered instead of implantation of a massive proximal femoral allograft in combination with insertion of a femoral component with cement.
†Center for Hip and Knee Surgery, 1199 Hadley Road, Mooresville, Indiana 46158.