Porous-coated total hip replacement

C. A. Engh*, J. P. Hooten, K. F. Zettl-Schaffer, M. Ghaffarpour, T. F. McGovern, G. E. Macalino, B. A. Zicat

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

191 Citations (Scopus)


Fifteen years of clinical experience with porous-coated prostheses demonstrated the durability of this type of fixation. This experience was documented by clinical follow-up study of the 393 cases treated by the senior author before 1985. Only six of these femoral components have been revised: three for loosening, two for stem breakage, and one for infection. Thus, the revision rate for the porous-coated stems was 1.5%. Porous-coated acetabular components were used in 227 of the arthroplasties. Five of these porous- coated cups have been revised: four for malposition leading to dislocation and one for late loosening secondary to osteolysis. Thus, the revision rate for these porous-coated acetabular components was 2.2%. Twenty bipolar and 146 cemented acetabular components were used in the remaining 166 cases treated before 1985. Eleven (7.5%) of the cemented acetabular components were revised. Revisions of the porous-coated components were rare in the first ten postoperative years. The clinical data were supplemented with analysis of postmortem specimens from 15 patients. Mechanical testing of the femoral specimens showed the relative micromotion at the porous surface to be exceptionally small (less than 40 μm). Seven of these postmortem retrievals involved cases with unilateral arthroplasties. In these cases, the contralateral normal femur also was removed, and a prosthesis identical to that in the in vivo implanted side was inserted to simulate the immediate postoperative condition. Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) of the seven paired femora demonstrated that bone remodeling can be expected to produce a 5%-52% loss of periprosthetic bone mineral content, with the greatest loss occurring in the more osteoporotic patients. Bone growth into the porous surface of the components was analyzed using backscattered scanning electron microscopy of transaxial femoral sections and radial acetabular sections. Bone ingrowth was demonstrated on 57% of the porous-surfaced area of the femoral components and 33% of the porous-surfaced area of the acetabular components.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-96
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Orthopaedics and Related Research
Issue number298
Publication statusPublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes


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