It is accepted that resurfacing hip replacement preserves the bone mineral density (BMD) of the femur better than total hip replacement (THR). However, no studies have investigated any possible difference on the acetabular side.
Between April 2007 and March 2009, 39 patients were randomised into two groups to receive either a resurfacing or a THR and were followed for two years. One patient’s resurfacing subsequently failed, leaving 19 patients in each group.
Resurfaced replacements maintained proximal femoral BMD and, compared with THR, had an increased bone mineral density in Gruen zones 2, 3, 6, and particularly zone 7, with a gain of 7.5% (95% confidence interval (CI) 2.6 to 12.5) compared with a loss of 14.6% (95% CI 7.6 to 21.6). Resurfacing replacements maintained the BMD of the medial femoral neck and increased that in the lateral zones between 12.8% (95% CI 4.3 to 21.4) and 25.9% (95% CI 7.1 to 44.6).
On the acetabular side, BMD was similar in every zone at each point in time. The mean BMD of all acetabular regions in the resurfaced group was reduced to 96.2% (95% CI 93.7 to 98.6) and for the total hip replacement group to 97.6% (95% CI 93.7 to 101.5) (p = 0.4863). A mean total loss of 3.7% (95% CI 1.0 to 6.5) and 4.9% (95% CI 0.8 to 9.0) of BMD was found above the acetabular component in W1 and 10.2% (95% CI 0.9 to 19.4) and 9.1% (95% CI 3.8 to 14.4) medial to the implant in W2 for resurfaced replacements and THRs respectively. Resurfacing resulted in a mean loss of BMD of 6.7% (95% CI 0.7 to 12.7) in W3 but the BMD inferior to the acetabular component was maintained in both groups.
These results suggest that the ability of a resurfacing hip replacement to preserve BMD only applies to the femoral side.
The authors would like to thank A. Gam-Pedersen and the technical staff at the Osteroporosis Unit, A. Riis Madsen in particular for scanning/analysing the images and L. Korsholm for statistical help.
Although none of the authors has received or will receive benefits for personal or professional use from a commercial party related directly or indirectly to the subject of this article, benefits have been or will be received but will be directed solely to a research fund, foundation, educational institution, or other non-profit organisation with which one or more of the authors are associated.
- Received August 30, 2011.
- Accepted March 12, 2012.
- ©2012 British Editorial Society of Bone and Joint Surgery