The acetabular component in total hip arthroplasty. Evaluation of different fixation principles

J Thanner
Acta Orthopaedica Scandinavica. Supplementum 1999, 286: 1-41
Initial stability is necessary for permanent fixation of acetabular cups. Biologic reactions to submicron particles such as localized bone resorption may lead to implant failure. The aim of the study was to evaluate different fixation principles of acetabular components. Four randomized studies and one case-control study were performed to evaluate different bone cements, different cup designs, use of ceramic coating or not, different type of screws and the need of additional screw fixation or not. Radiostereometry (RSA) makes it possible to analyze small translations and rotations of implants with a high accuracy. This method is suitable for evaluation of early stability and was used in four of the studies. Clinical and radiological follow-up were performed regularly. The cements were tested in the laboratory. 30 patients (mean age 71 years, range: 63-76) received total hip arthroplasties and were randomised to fixation with Boneloc (14) or Palacos cum gentamicin (16) bone cement. The curing temperature was 23 degrees lower for the Boneloc cement but the tensile strength was reduced and the elastic modulus was lower compared to Palacos. The proximal cup migration was greater in the Boneloc group up to 12 months (p 0.04) and these cups migrated medially in contrast to a small lateral migration seen in the Palacos group (p 0.04). Radiolucencies were more pronounced in the Boneloc group at 12 months (p 0.04). 155 patients (171 hips, mean age 50 years, range: 24-64) received uncemented hip arthroplasties. 84 hips were randomised to the PCA and 87 to the Harris-Galante I designs. The 10-year survival rates were 85% for the PCA and 99% for the Harris-Galante I cups (revision as end-point). The wear and clinical results did not differ. 43 patients (mean age 60 years, range 44-68) received uncemented porous cups with a titanium mesh in pure titanium (Harris-Galante II) and were randomised to additional fixation with either biodegradable screws (23, poly-L-lactic acid, PLLA) or screws made of titanium alloy (20). Increased proximal and medial-lateral translations (p 0.02, 0.04) but less rotation around the longitudinal axis (p 0.04) were seen in the PLLA group up to 2 years. There were also more pronounced radiolucencies anteriorly in this group at 2 years. The clinical results did not differ. 23 uncemented porous cups (Harris-Galante II) with hydroxyapatite-tricalciumphosphate coating (HA/TCP) were pair-wise matched to uncoated cups. Up to 2 years, decreased rotations around the horizontal axis were recorded in the HA/TCP-coated cups. Central postoperative gaps were more frequently seen in the HA/TCP group (p < 0.01), but at 2 years radiolucencies were more pronounced in the uncoated group (p < 0.01). The wear and clinical results did not differ. 62 patients (64 hips, mean age 56 years, range: 32-75) were randomized to porous Trilogy cups with (30) and without (34) cluster holes for additional screw fixation. Up to 2 years there were no differences in migration, wear, radiographic findings or clinical results. In conclusion Boneloc cement was associated with poor fixation due to inferior mechanical properties. The PLLA screws did not provide sufficient stability. Unacceptably high failure rates were recorded for the PCA cup. HA/TCP coating improved the fixation and the interface of porous cups. HA/TCP coated porous cups can be fixed without adjunctive screw fixation.

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