What Is the Risk of THA Revision for ARMD in Patients with Non-metal-on-metal Bearings? A Study from the Australian National Joint Replacement Registry

R. N. de Steiger, Alesha Hatton, Yi Peng, Stephen Graves

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BACKGROUND: There are increasing reports of corrosion between the femoral head and trunnion in primary conventional THA, resulting in metal particulate release often termed trunnionosis. There may be heightened awareness of this condition because of severe soft-tissue reactions initially thought to be solely attributable to prostheses with a metal-on-metal (MoM) bearing surface. It is unclear what percentage of revisions for THA with non-MoM bearing surfaces can be attributed to trunnionosis and to what extent adverse reaction to metal debris (ARMD) seen with MoM bearings may also be seen with other bearing surfaces in THA. QUESTIONS/PURPOSES: We analyzed data from a large national registry to ask: (1) What is the revision risk for the indication of ARMD in patients with conventional THA and modern non-MoM bearing surfaces such as metal or ceramic-on-cross-linked polyethylene (XLPE) or ceramic-on-ceramic? (2) What prosthesis factors are associated with an increased risk of such revision? (3) What is the relative revision risk for ARMD in THAs with large-head MoM bearings, small-head MoM bearings, and non-MoM modern bearing surfaces? METHODS: The Australian Orthopaedic Association National Joint Replacement Registry (AOANJRR) longitudinally maintains data on all primary and revision joint arthroplasties, with nearly 100% capture. The study population included all THAs using modern bearing surfaces (defined as metal or ceramic heads-on-XLPE and ceramic-on-ceramic bearing couples) revised because of ARMD between September 1999 and December 2018. Prostheses with modular necks were excluded. The cumulative percent revision (CPR) because of ARMD was determined. The study group consisted of 350,027 THAs with a modern bearing surface, 15,184 THAs with a large-head MoM bearing (≥ 36 mm), and 5474 THAs with a small head MoM bearing (≤ 32 mm). The patients in the group who received the modern bearing surfaces were slightly older than the patients in the groups who received the large- and small-head bearing surfaces, with a mean age 68 years (SD 12) versus a mean age 63 years (SD 12), and a mean age 62 years (SD 11), respectively. There was a higher proportion of women in the modern bearing surface group; 55% (193,312 of 350,027), compared with 43% (6497 of 15,184) in the large-head MoM group and 50% (2716 of 5474) in the small-head MoM group. The outcome measure was the CPR, which was defined using Kaplan-Meier estimates of survivorship to describe the time to the first revision for ARMD at 17 years. Hazard ratios (HR) from Cox proportional hazards models, adjusting for age and sex, were performed to compare the revision rates among groups. The registry defines a revision as a reoperation of a previous hip arthroplasty in which one or more of the prosthetic components is replaced or removed, or one or more components is added. RESULTS: The CPR for ARMD for patients with a modern bearing surface at 17 years was 0.1% (95% confidence interval 0.0 to 0.1). After controlling for age and sex, we found that cobalt chrome heads, two specific prostheses (Accolade® I and M/L Taper), and head sizes ≥ 36 mm were associated with an increased risk of revision for ARMD. Metal-on-XLPE had a higher risk of revision for ARMD than ceramic-on-ceramic or ceramic-on-XLPE (HR 3.4 [95% CI 1.9 to 6.0]; p < 0.001). The Accolade 1 and the M/L Taper stems had a higher risk of revision than all other stems (HR, 8.3 [95% CI 4.7 to 14.7]; p < 0.001 and HR 14.4 [95% CI 6.0 to 34.6]; p < 0.001, respectively). Femoral stems with head sizes ≥ 36 mm had a higher rate of revision for ARMD than stems with head sizes ≤ 32 mm (HR 3.2 [95% CI 1.9 to 5.3]; p < 0.001).Large-head MoM bearings had a greater increase in revision for ARMD compared with modern bearing surfaces. The CPR for patients with a large-head MoM bearing at 17 years for ARMD was 15.5% (95% CI 14.5 to 16.6) and it was 0.1% for modern bearing surfaces (HR 340 [95% CI 264.2 to 438.0]; p < 0.001). Modern bearing surfaces likewise had a lower HR for revision for ARMD than did THAs with small-head MoM bearings, which had a 0.9% (95% CI 0.7 to 1.4) CPR compared with modern bearings from 0 to 9 years (HR 10.5 [95% CI 6.2 to 17.7]; p < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: The revision risk for ARMD with modern bearing surfaces in THA is low. The Accolade 1 and the M/L Taper stem have a higher risk of revision for ARMD and cobalt-chrome heads, and head sizes ≥ 36 mm have a higher rate of revision than ≤ 32 mm head sizes. ARMD is a rare failure mode for THA with non-MoM bearings, but in patients presenting with unexplained pain with no other obvious cause, this diagnosis should be considered and investigated further. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Level III, therapeutic study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1244-1253
Number of pages10
JournalClinical orthopaedics and related research
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 1 Jun 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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