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The lifetime risk of revision following total hip arthroplasty

a New Zealand Joint Registry study

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Joint registries typically use revision of an implant as an endpoint and report survival rates after a defined number of years. However, reporting lifetime risk of revision may be more meaningful, especially in younger patients. We aimed to assess lifetime risk of revision for patients in defined age groups at the time of primary surgery.


The New Zealand Joint Registry (NZJR) was used to obtain rates and causes of revision for all primary total hip arthroplasties (THAs) performed between January 1999 and December 2016. The NZJR is linked to the New Zealand Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages to obtain complete and accurate data. Patients were stratified by age at primary surgery, and lifetime risk of revision calculated according to age, sex, and American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) classification. The most common causes for revision were also analyzed for each age group.


The overall, ten-year implant survival rate was 93.6% (95% confidence interval (CI) 93.4% to 93.8%). It was lowest in the youngest age group (46 to 50 years), rising sequentially with increasing age to 97.5% in the oldest group (90 to 95 years). Lifetime risk of revision surgery was 27.6% (95% CI 27.3% to 27.8%) in those aged 46 to 50 years, decreasing with age to 1.1% (95% CI 0.0% to 5.8%) in those aged 90 to 95 years at the time of primary surgery. Higher ASA grades were associated with an increased lifetime risk of revision across all ages. The commonest causes for revision THA were aseptic loosening, infection, periprosthetic fracture, and dislocation.


When counselling patients preoperatively, the lifetime risk of revision may be a more meaningful and useful measure of longer-term outcome than implant survival at defined time periods. This study highlights the considerably increased likelihood of subsequent revision surgery in younger age groups.

Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2021;103-B(3):479–485.

Correspondence should be sent to Ms Mary Nugent. E-mail:

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