JOURNAL ARTICLE

Ceramic-on-ceramic total hip arthroplasty: incidence of instability and noise

David Schroder, Lindsey Bornstein, Mathias P G Bostrom, Bryan J Nestor, Douglas E Padgett, Geoffrey H Westrich
Clinical Orthopaedics and related Research 2011, 469 (2): 437-42
20852972

BACKGROUND: Alternative bearing materials in THA have been developed to reduce the incidence of osteolysis. Alumina-on-alumina bearings exhibit extremely low wear rates in vitro, but concerns exist regarding component impingement with the potential for dislocation and the occurrence of noise.

QUESTIONS/PURPOSES: We determined generation of squeaking and the relationship between squeaking and component position.

METHODS: We prospectively entered 436 alumina-on-alumina, cementless, primary THAs in 364 patients into our institutional database. All procedures were performed with the same surgical technique and the same implant. We obtained Harris Hip scores and a noise questionnaire and assessed radiographic component position and loosening. We determined the difference in abduction angle between squeakers and nonsqueakers. Minimum followup was 2 years (average, 3.5 years; range, 2.0-6.2 years).

RESULTS: The mean Harris hip score increased from 51.9 preoperatively to 94.4 at latest followup. Six hips underwent reoperation: four hips (1.1%) for dislocation and two (0.53%) for periprosthetic fracture after trauma. The incidence of noise of any type was 11%, with the most common type of noise being clicking or snapping. Squeaking was reported by 1.9% of patients, with no patient being revised for this phenomenon. We found no association between component position and squeaking.

CONCLUSIONS: At average 3 years followup, 98% of ceramic-on-ceramic THAs did not require a revision, with 1.1% of hips having been revised for dislocation. Fewer than 2% of patients reported hearing an audible squeak, with no association found between component position and squeaking.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Level IV, therapeutic study. See Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

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