January 19th, 2014 , J Arthroplasty

Early failures in total hip arthroplasty — a changing paradigm

Between 2001 and 2011, 1168 revision hip arthroplasties were reviewed for “early” failures within 5 years of the primary total hip arthroplasty (THA). 24.1% underwent revision within 5 years of index THA. Aseptic loosening, infection, instability, metallosis, and fracture were common modes of failure. In our previous report from 1986 to 2000, 33% were “early” revisions, with instability and aseptic loosening accounting for over 70% of these early failures. While the proportion of “early” revisions decreased 9% from our previous report, this rate remains alarming. The emergence of metallosis and aseptic loosening of monoblock metal on metal shells as leading causes of early failures is concerning. This report suggests caution in the early adoption of new innovations before evidence based medicine is available to justify the risk of their use.