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8th Combined Meeting Of Orthopaedic Research Societies (CORS)



The M2a-38tm metal on metal total hip arthroplasty showed a high incidence of pseudotumors and an unexpected high revision rate in our thoroughly screened cross sectional cohort.


After the revival of the metal on metal (MoM) bearing in total hip arthroplasty (THA) at the beginning of this century, there are now serious questions about this type of bearing. The advantage of large head MoM bearing is the increase in range of motion and stability. In our institution the choice was made for 38 mm heads. During the last few years concerns have been raised about the relationship of MoM bearing and elevated serum cobalt and chromium ion levels, their local and systemic toxicological effects and the incidence of local tumorous masses (pseudotumors). Are these findings applicable for all MoM bearings or are there also product specific issues. We present the outcome of a cementless MoM THA using a 38mm head in a unique consecutive series of 377 THA who were performed in our institution.

Patients and Methods

All 351 patients (377 THA) with a cementless MoM THA (M2a-38tm, Biomet Inc, Warsaw, IN, USA, and Taperloc® stem, Biomet UK, Bridgend) between 2008 and 2011 were evaluated. All patients were analyzed by a physical exam, serum levels of cobalt and chromium and an interview to determine if there were any complaints. An MRI of the hip was made if patients reported pain during physical activity, allergies to metals, serum cobalt or chromium ion levels ≥ 5 ppb or if the inclination of the acetabular component was more than 50 degrees. Nine patients deceased, three were lost to follow up and four already underwent a revision before the screening. We analyzed 361 hips with an average follow up of 30 (range 2–58) months. The average preoperative age was 63 years (41–88).


219 patients with 235 THA (65%) reported no complaints. Median cobalt level in patients with complaints was 6.6 (0.2–173) ppb and in the group without complaints 3.7 (0.2–27.3) ppb. Median chromium level in patients with complaints was 5.0 (0.1–134) ppb and in the group without complaints 3.7 (0.2–27) ppb. On the 226 performed MRI scans, 56 pseudotumors were diagnosed and described using the Anderson classification (9 C1, 41 C2 and 5 C3). 71 hips had been revised after a mean follow of 30 months (range 0.2–50 months). Reasons for revision were because of pain, raised metal ions and a pseudotumor in 28; pain and raised metal ion levels in 15; aseptic loosening of the acetabular or femoral component in 11; raised metal ions and a pseudotumor in 7; combination of luxations, luxation feelings and fractures in 5; infections in 3 and for other reasons in 2.


The short-term results of the THA with a 38mm head metal on metal articulation are higher compared with other MoM bearings. They show a revision rate of 7% and 10% in the Australian and England register. In other peer reviewed literature we find a revision rate between 0–13% after five years. We also observed a high incidence of elevated serum levels of metal ions, pseudotumors and an unexpected high early revision rate.