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Revision Total Hip Arthroplasty with Retained Acetabular Component

Adelani, Muyibat A. MD; Mall, Nathan A. MD; Nyazee, Humaa MPH; Clohisy, John C. MD; Barrack, Robert L. MD; Nunley, Ryan M. MD

Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery - American Volume: 18 June 2014 - Volume 96 - Issue 12 - p 1015–1020
doi: 10.2106/JBJS.L.01177
Scientific Articles
Supplementary Content

Background: Aseptic loosening and osteolysis commonly limit the survivorship of total hip prostheses. Retention of a well-fixed acetabular component, rather than full acetabular revision, has multiple advantages, but questions have lingered regarding the clinical success and prosthetic survivorship following this procedure. We examined the impact of acetabular component position, polyethylene type, liner insertion technique, femoral head size, and simultaneous revision of the entire femoral component (as opposed to head and liner exchange) or bone-grafting on mid-term to long-term prosthetic survival following such limited revisions.

Methods: One hundred hips in 100 patients with osteolysis, polyethylene wear, or femoral component loosening underwent revision total hip arthroplasty with retention of the acetabular component. Acetabular component inclination and anteversion were measured on prerevision radiographs and were categorized according to predetermined positional safe zones (inclination of 35° to 55° and anteversion of 5° to 25°). Operative reports were reviewed for femoral head size, polyethylene liner type (conventional or highly cross-linked), liner insertion technique (use of the existing locking mechanism or cementation), whether the patient had revision of the entire femoral component, and use of bone graft. Outcomes of interest included the Harris hip score, University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) activity score, episodes of instability, and need for repeat revision.

Results: At an average of 6.6 years (range, two to fourteen years) postoperatively, the Harris hip and UCLA activity scores were both significantly improved compared with the preoperative scores (p < 0.0001 and p < 0.01, respectively). Overall, the failure rate was 13%. In addition, 6% of the patients had postoperative instability. Hips in which the acetabular component was outside of the safe zone for inclination had a higher rate of failure (p = 0.048). Use of conventional, rather than highly cross-linked, polyethylene at the time of revision was also associated with an increased rate of repeat revision (p = 0.025).

Conclusions: Revision total hip arthroplasty with retention of the acetabular component is associated with good outcomes in hips with an appropriately positioned, well-fixed acetabular component. Acetabular components outside the safe zone for inclination were at a higher risk for failure, as was use of conventional polyethylene.

Level of Evidence: Therapeutic Level IV. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine, 660 South Euclid Avenue, Campus Box 8233, St. Louis, MO 63110. E-mail address for M.A. Adelani:

26 McBride & Sons, Center Drive, Suite 204, St. Louis, MO 63005. E-mail address:

Copyright 2014 by The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Incorporated
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