Alumina-on-alumina THA performed in patients younger than 30 years: a 10-year minimum followup study

Hyeong Jo Yoon, Jeong Joon Yoo, Kang Sup Yoon, Kyung-Hoi Koo, Hee Joong Kim
Clinical Orthopaedics and related Research 2012, 470 (12): 3530-6

BACKGROUND: THA in patients younger than 30 years presents challenges because of uncertainties regarding the long-term survivorship of prostheses. Alumina-on-alumina bearings, which exhibit little long-term wear, may be a reasonable option but the long-term survivorship is unknown.

QUESTIONS/PURPOSES: We determined (1) the survival rate of alumina-on-alumina bearings in patients younger than 30 years after a 10-year followup, (2) the incidence of audible hip clicking and squeaking, (3) radiographic evidence of osteolysis, and (4) the effects on pregnancy, childbirth, and career choice.

METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed 62 patients who had 75 THAs with alumina-on-alumina bearings followed more than 10 years (average, 11.5; range, 10-13.5 years). Mean patient age at the time of surgery was 24 years (range, 18-30 years). All operations were performed using the same cementless implant at a single center. We determined survival, presence of osteolysis, and function (Harris hip score, WOMAC).

RESULTS: The 10-year survival rate of alumina-on-alumina bearings in THAs, with revision for any reason as the end point, was 98.9%. Audible hip clicking and squeaking were identified in 10 hips and two hips, respectively. No osteolysis was detected. None of the 11 patients who became pregnant had been affected by their THA during pregnancy or childbirth. Seven of the 14 patients who were unemployed at the time of index surgery stated that their THA affected their job choice.

CONCLUSIONS: We found a high 10-year survival of cementless alumina-on-alumina bearings in THAs in patients younger than 30 years. Lifetime events such as job choice, pregnancy, and childbirth should be considered when choosing THA for patients younger than 30 years.

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

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