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Can some early revision total hip arthroplasties be avoided?

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Studying the indications for revision total hip arthroplasty (THA) may enable surgeons to change their practice during the initial procedure, thereby reducing the need for revision surgery. The aim of this study was to identify and describe the potentially avoidable indications for revision THA within five years of the initial procedure.

Patients and Methods

A retrospective review of 117 patients (73 women, 44 men; mean age 61.5 years (27 to 88)) who met the inclusion criteria was conducted. Three adult reconstruction surgeons independently reviewed the radiographs and medical records, and they classified the revision THAs into two categories: potentially avoidable and unavoidable. Baseline demographics, perioperative details, and quality outcomes up to the last follow-up were recorded.


A total of 60 revision THAs (51.3%) were deemed potentially avoidable and 57 (48.7%) were deemed unavoidable. The following were identified as avoidable factors: suboptimal positioning of the acetabular component (29; 48%), intraoperative fracture or a fracture missed on an intraoperative radiograph (20; 33%), early (less than two weeks) aseptic loosening (seven; 11.7%), and symptomatic leg length discrepancy of > 1 cm (four; 6.7%).


A surprisingly large proportion of acute revision THAs are potentially avoidable. Surgeons must carefully evaluate the indications for revision THAs in their practice and identify new methods to address these issues.

Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2019;101-B(6 Supple B):97–103.

Correspondence should be sent to J. M. Vigdorchik; email:

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