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General Orthopaedics


Current Concepts in Joint Replacement (CCJR) – Spring 2015


With cementless porous-coated acetabular replacements, extensive bone loss can occur without effecting implant stability. As a result, the surgeon is frequently faced with re-operating on a well-fixed cementless acetabular component with osteolysis and must decide whether or not to remove a well-fixed porous coated socket. A classification system and treatment algorithm has been developed to aid in management decisions regarding re-operation for polyethylene wear and pelvic osteolysis.

Cases are classified into one of 3 possible categories depending on the radiographic stability of the porous coated shell and the ability to replace the polyethylene liner. Type I case; stable porous coated shell, liner replaceable; Type II case; socket stable, liner not replaceable;

Type III case; socket loose, not osseointegrated.

Treatment Algorithms - Retain well-fixed shell in Type I cases and replace the liner. Debride accessible lytic lesions and graft with allograft chips. Remove the well-fixed shell in Type II case. Assess defect once the shell is removed. Reconstruction based on the bony defect present. The vast majority can be revised with a larger porous coated socket. Remove loose socket in Type III cases. Assess defect and reconstruct based on the defect. There is a greater need for more extensive grafting and the use of reconstruction rings with Type III cases.

This treatment algorithm has helped the authors successfully evaluate and treat a large series of patients with polyethylene wear and pelvic osteolysis in association with porous coated acetabular components. The stability of the acetabular component and appropriate knowledge of the implant are important factors that impact surgical management.