A survey of the prevalence of and techniques to prevent trunnionosis

Michael Marinier, Tori A. Edmiston, Sean Kearns, Charles P. Hannon, Brett R. Levine

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Trunnionosis of total hip arthroplasty (THA) components has been an increasingly reported complication. Consensus is lacking regarding preventive practices and the overall incidence of trunnionosis. In this study, fellowship-trained adult reconstruction orthopedic surgeons were surveyed to identify expert opinions. A 25-question, web-based survey regarding trunnionosis incidence, prevention, and biomaterials was sent to 345 fellowship-trained adult reconstruction orthopedic surgeons in North America. The survey yielded 151 (43.8%) responses from surgeons with a mean of 11.97±9.49 years of experience. These surgeons believe that the material composite of the head–neck junction is the most important contributor to trunnionosis. They often choose a ceramic head with a metal alloy stem to reduce trunnionosis. They more commonly impact the femoral head 3 times than once. Fifty-one percent believe that trunnionosis leads to THA failure for between 0% and 2% of all THA revisions, whereas 48.3% believe that the failure rate is greater than 2%. More than half (53.6%) of these surgeons recommend a revision THA if a patient’s serum cobalt level is greater than 10 µg/L, regardless of symptom presence. The incidence of trunnionosis appears to be increasing due to changes in implants and/or an increased awareness of the problem, with 48.3% of these surgeons believing that trunnionosis is the primary cause of THA failure for more than 1 in 50 patients. Some suggested preventive measures include cleaning and drying the trunnion, using ceramic femoral heads, matching THA components, and adding titanium sleeves on well-fixed stems that are retained during revision surgery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e557-e562
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2018


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