Lower rates of dislocation with increased femoral head size after primary total hip replacement


S. S. Jameson, D. Lees, P. James, I. Serrano-Pedraza, P. F. Partington, S. D. Muller, R. M. D. Meek, M. R. Reed


Increased femoral head size may reduce dislocation rates following total hip replacement. The National Joint Registry for England and Wales has highlighted a statistically significant increase in the use of femoral heads ≥ 36 mm in diameter from 5% in 2005 to 26% in 2009, together with an increase in the use of the posterior approach. The aim of this study was to determine whether rates of dislocation have fallen over the same period. National data for England for 247 546 procedures were analysed in order to determine trends in the rate of dislocation at three, six, 12 and 18 months after operation during this time. The 18-month revision rates were also examined.

Between 2005 and 2009 there were significant decreases in cumulative dislocations at three months (1.12% to 0.86%), six months (1.25% to 0.96%) and 12 months (1.42% to 1.11%) (all p < 0.001), and at 18 months (1.56% to 1.31%) for the period 2005 to 2008 (p < 0.001). The 18-month revision rates did not significantly change during the study period (1.26% to 1.39%, odds ratio 1.10 (95% confidence interval 0.98 to 1.24), p = 0.118). There was no evidence of changes in the coding of dislocations during this time.

These data have revealed a significant reduction in dislocations associated with the use of large femoral head sizes, with no change in the 18-month revision rate.

  • Received January 6, 2011.
  • Accepted March 7, 2011.
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