Background: Revision of a femoral component in a patient who has severe bone loss is a complex problem that is likely to increase with the increasing numbers of patients who have multiple revision hip arthroplasties. A valuable option in such a situation is use of a long-stem prosthesis that is cemented to a proximal femoral allograft but not to the host bone.
Methods: Between April 1984 and December 1989, sixty-three total hip arthroplasties in sixty consecutive patients were revised with a proximal femoral allograft-prosthesis construct. The average length of the allograft was 15 cm. The average age of the patients at the time of the revision was 62.5 years. All patients had undergone at least one previous total hip arthroplasty, and an average of 3.8 previous total hip arthroplasties had been performed in the series. Each patient was assigned a modified Harris hip score. Radiographs were examined for trochanteric union, allograft-host union, endosteal and periosteal resorption, component loosening, and fracture.
Results: At an average of eleven years (range, nine years and four months to fifteen years) after the revision, forty-five patients were alive, fourteen patients had died, and one patient had been lost to follow-up. The patients who had died or had been lost to follow-up had had a total of fifteen allografts (24%) and had been followed for an average of five years and seven months (range, two years and four months to eight years). The average preoperative Harris hip score for the sixty-three hips was 30 points (range, 6 to 65 points). At the latest follow-up evaluation, the average score for the hips with the original graft in situ was 71 points (range, 47 to 95 points). Five hips failed because of infection, and four of them were successfully revised. Three hips failed because of aseptic loosening, at an average of ten years and three months; two were successfully revised, and the third was awaiting revision at the time of writing. An additional operation was performed in three hips with allograft-host nonunion and in two with dislocation. Success was defined as a postoperative increase in the Harris hip score of greater than 20 points, a stable implant, and no need for additional surgery related to the allograft at the time of the review. The success rate for all hips was 78% (forty-nine of sixty-three) after an average of nine years of follow-up. The success rate for the patients who were alive at the time of follow-up was 77% (thirty-seven of forty-eight hips) after an average of eleven years of follow-up.
Conclusions: The clinical and radiographic results at an average of eleven years after revision hip arthroplasty with a proximal femoral allograft are encouraging. This report represents our early experience; improvements in the technique have been made. We believe that this technique provides a viable option for treatment of the difficult problem of severe femoral bone loss.
Hugh R.L. Blackley, BSc, MBChB, FRACS; Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Auckland Hospital, Park Road, Private Bag 92024, Auckland 1, New Zealand
Aileen M. Davis, BSc, PT, MSc, PhD; Carol R. Hutchison, BSc, MD, MED, FRCSC; Allan E. Gross, MD, FRCSC; Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Mount Sinai Hospital, 600 University Avenue, Suite 476A, Toronto, ON M5G 1X5, Canada