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Failure analysis of articulating polymethyl methacrylate spacers in two-stage revision total hip arthroplasty

Bone Jt Open. 2022 Jun;3(6):485-494. doi: 10.1302/2633-1462.36.BJO-2022-0024.R1.


AIMS: Two-stage exchange revision total hip arthroplasty (THA) performed in case of periprosthetic joint infection (PJI) has been considered for many years as being the gold standard for the treatment of chronic infection. However, over the past decade, there have been concerns about its safety and its effectiveness. The purposes of our study were to investigate our practice, collecting the overall spacer complications, and then to analyze their risk factors.

METHODS: We retrospectively included 125 patients with chronic hip PJI who underwent a staged THA revision performed between January 2013 and December 2019. All spacer complications were systematically collected, and risk factors were analyzed. Statistical evaluations were performed using the Student’s t-test, Mann-Whitney U test, and Fisher’s exact test.

RESULTS: Our staged exchange practice shows poor results, which means a 42% mechanical spacer failure rate, and a 20% recurrent infection rate over the two years average follow-up period. Moreover, we found a high rate of spacer dislocation (23%) and a low rate of spacer fracture (8%) compared to the previous literature. Our findings stress that the majority of spacer complications and failures is reflecting a population with high comorbid burden, highlighted by the American Society of Anesthesiology grade, Charlson Comorbidity Index, and Lee score associations, as well as the cardiac, pulmonary, kidney, or hepatic chronic conditions.

CONCLUSION: Our experience of a two-stage hip exchange revision noted important complication rates associated with high failure rates of polymethylmethacrylate spacers. These findings must be interpreted in the light of the patient’s comorbidity profiles, as the elective population for staged exchange has an increasing comorbid burden leading to poor results. In order to provide better results for this specific population, our conclusion suggests that comparative strategy studies are required to improve our therapeutic indication. Cite this article: Bone Jt Open 2022;3(6):485-494.

PMID:35695030 | DOI:10.1302/2633-1462.36.BJO-2022-0024.R1

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