A Comparison of Revision Rates and Dislocation After Primary Total Hip Arthroplasty with 28, 32, and 36-mm Femoral Heads and Different Cup Sizes: An Analysis of 188,591 Primary Total Hip Arthroplasties

Wayne Hoskins, Sophia Rainbird, Carl Holder, James Stoney, Stephen E Graves, Roger Bingham

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5 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: The acetabular component diameter can influence the choice of femoral head size in total hip arthroplasty (THA). We compared the rates of revision by femoral head size for different acetabular component sizes.

METHODS: Data from the Australian Orthopaedic Association National Joint Replacement Registry were analyzed for patients undergoing primary THA for a diagnosis of osteoarthritis from September 1999 to December 2019. Acetabular components were stratified into quartiles by size: <51 mm, 51 to 53 mm, 54 to 55 mm, and 56 to 66 mm. Femoral head sizes of 28 mm, 32 mm, and 36 mm were compared for each cup size. The primary outcome was the cumulative percent revision (CPR) for all aseptic causes and for dislocation. The results were adjusted for age, sex, femoral fixation, femoral head material, year of surgery, and surgical approach and were stratified by femoral head material.

RESULTS: For acetabular components of <51 mm, 32-mm (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.75 [95% confidence interval (CI), 0.57 to 0.97]; p = 0.031) and 36-mm femoral heads (HR = 0.58 [95% CI, 0.38 to 0.87]; p = 0.008) had a lower CPR for aseptic causes than 28-mm heads; and 36-mm heads had fewer dislocations than 28-mm (HR = 0.33 [95% CI, 0.16 to 0.68]; p = 0.003), but more dislocations than 32-mm heads (HR for >2 weeks = 2.25 [95% CI, 1.13 to 4.49]; p = 0.021). For 51 to 53-mm, 54 to 55-mm, and 56 to 66-mm-diameter acetabular components, there was no difference in the CPR for aseptic causes among head sizes. A femoral head size of 36 mm had fewer dislocations in the first 2 weeks than a 32-mm head for the 51 to 53-mm acetabular components (HR for <2 weeks = 3.79 [95% CI, 1.23 to 11.67]; p = 0.020) and for the entire period for 56 to 66-mm acetabular components (HR = 1.53 [95% CI, 1.05 to 2.23]; p = 0.028). The reasons for revision differed for each femoral head size. There was no difference in the CPR between metal and ceramic heads.

CONCLUSIONS: There is no clear advantage to any single head size except with acetabular components of <51 mm, in which 32-mm and 36-mm femoral heads had lower rates of aseptic revision. If stability is prioritized, 36-mm femoral heads may be indicated.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Therapeutic Level III. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Journal of bone and joint surgery. American volume
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 16 Jun 2022

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