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British Orthopaedic Research Society (BORS)


Prosthesis migration and acetabular cup wear are useful short term measurement which may predict later implant outcome. However, the significance of the magnitude and pattern of the migration is very much dependent on the specific design studied. This study aimed to characterise patterns of migration by following four cemented femoral stem designs using Radiostereometry (RSA) within a prospective randomised longitudinal trial.

164 patients undergoing cemented femoral hip replacement for osteoarthritis were randomised to receive either an Exeter (Howmedica Stryker), Ultima Tapered Polished Stem (TPS) (Depuy), Ultima Straight Stem (USS) (Johnson and Johnson) or Elite Plus (Depuy) stem. Each subject received the OGEE PE cemented acetabular component (Depuy). RSA examinations were performed at 1 week and 6, 12, 18, 24 and 60 months post surgery. They were analysed using the UMRSA system (RSA Biomedical AB, Umea, Sweden), and our local geometric stem measurement software. 149 patients had RSA measurements available to 2 years, and 96 patients to 5 years. Differences were analysed using mixed linear modelling (SPSS).

Median linear proximal cup wear rate reduced to a minimum of 0.02-0.06mm/year in year two. Between 2 and 5 years the wear rate increased, being significantly higher for the Elite.

Cup migration was small but continuous. At 2 years it was median 0.3mm proximally, increasing to 0.5 mm at 5 years. Median rotations were less than 0.3 degrees.

Proximal migration was positive and increasing at all time points for all stems. For the tapered polished designs, while the overall magnitude was significantly higher, the rate of migration significantly decreased, whereas for the other stem designs it did not.

The TPS stem showed a tendency for posterior tilt which was significant compared to the other stems at 5 years.

All stems tended to retroversion, with the USS significantly less than the others and the Elite showing and relative increase at 5 years.

In summary migration patterns are characterised by the stem design, including where there were only small changes between designs. We are now testing measured migrations as predictors of outcome, and will continue to follow this group of patients to 10 years.