Is a modular dual mobility acetabulum a viable option for the young, active total hip arthroplasty patient?

D. Nam, R. Salih, C. R. Nahhas, R. L. Barrack, R. M. Nunley

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Aims Modular dual mobility (DM) prostheses in which a cobalt-chromium liner is inserted into a titanium acetabular shell (vs a monoblock acetabular component) have the advantage of allowing supplementary screw fixation, but the potential for corrosion between the liner and acetabulum has raised concerns. While DM prostheses have shown improved stability in patients deemed ‘high-risk’ for dislocation undergoing total hip arthroplasty (THA), their performance in young, active patients has not been reported. This study’s purpose was to assess clinical outcomes, metal ion levels, and periprosthetic femoral bone mineral density (BMD) in young, active patients receiving a modular DM acetabulum and recently introduced titanium, proximally coated, tapered femoral stem design. Patients and Methods This was a prospective study of patients between 18 and 65 years of age, with a body mass index (BMI) & 35 kg/m2 and University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) activity score & 6, who received a modular cobalt-chromium acetabular liner, highly crosslinked polyethylene mobile bearing, and cementless titanium femoral stem for their primary THA. Patients with a history of renal disease and metal hardware elsewhere in the body were excluded. A total of 43 patients (30 male, 13 female; mean age 52.6 years (sd 6.5)) were enrolled. All patients had a minimum of two years’ clinical follow-up. Patient-reported outcome measures, whole blood metal ion levels (ug/l), and periprosthetic femoral BMD were measured at baseline, as well as at one and two years postoperatively. Power analysis indicated 40 patients necessary to demonstrate a five-fold increase in cobalt levels from baseline (alpha = 0.05, beta = 0.80). A mixed model with repeated measures was used for statistical analysis. Results Mean Harris Hip Scores improved from 54.1 (sd 20.5) to 91.2 (sd 10.8) at two years postoperatively (p & 0.001). All patients had radiologically well-fixed components, no patients experienced any instability, and no patients required any further intervention. Mean cobalt levels increased from 0.065 ug/l (sd 0.03) preoperatively to 0.30 ug/l (sd 0.51) at one year postoperatively (p = 0.01) but decreased at two years postoperatively to 0.16 ug/l (sd 0.23; p = 0.2). Four patients (9.3%) had a cobalt level outside the reference range (0.03 ug/l to 0.29 ug/l) at two years postoperatively, with values from 0.32 ug/l to 0.94 ug/l. The mean femoral BMD ratio was maintained in Gruen zones 2 to 7 at both one and two years postoperatively using this stem design. At two years postoperatively, mean BMD in the medial calcar was 101.5% of the baseline value. Conclusion Use of a modular DM prosthesis and cementless, tapered femoral stem has shown encouraging results in young, active patients undergoing primary THA. Elevation in mean cobalt levels and the presence of four patients outside the reference range at two years postoperatively demonstrates the necessity of continued surveillance in this cohort.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)365-371
Number of pages7
JournalBone and Joint Journal
Volume101 B
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2019


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