Femoral cement-in-cement revision is a well described technique to reduce morbidity and complications in hip revision surgery. Traditional techniques for septic revision necessitate removal of all bone cement from the femur. In our two institutions, we have been using a cement-in-cement technique, leaving the distal femoral cement in selected cases for septic hip revision surgery.
Between February 2010 and September 2019, 89 patients with prosthetic hip infection underwent first or single stage procedures leaving the distal femoral cement in situ and performing a cement-in-cement revision. The mean patient age was 72.0 years (24–92). The median time from the last arthroplasty procedure was 29.0 months (1–294).
81 patients underwent revision using a cemented Exeter stem, 7 patients received an articulating spacer, and one patient underwent excision arthroplasty with the distal cement left in situ. Patients received clinical and radiographic follow-up with a mean of 42.8 months (range 11.0–120.1 months). Oxford hip scores were collected from each institution's existing databases.
9 patients (10.1%) died within one year of surgery. No deaths were directly related to joint infection or the surgery. One patient was lost to follow up before one year.
Of the remainder, 7 patients (8.9%) required further procedures for infection and were therefore considered to be treatment failures. 6 patients (7.6%) underwent planned second stage procedures with no recurrence of infection. 7 patients (8.9%) had further surgery for non-infective reasons. The Kaplan-Meier estimate of infection free survival at one year was 93.7% (95% CI 88.4 to 99.0%).
No patients underwent revision for stem loosening. Oxford hip scores were available at over one year postoperatively for 51 patients with a mean score of 30.6, and a mean gain of 11.9.
In our combined cohort of patients, cement-in-cement revision had an infection eradication rate of 91.1%. Patient selection is crucial, and the procedure can only be performed when there is a well-fixed cement mantle. However, when strict criteria are followed, this technique offers potential significant benefits to surgeons performing this challenging surgery, and more importantly the patients undergoing them.