Adverse tissue reaction to corrosion at the neck-stem junction after modular primary total hip arthroplasty

Complications related to the neck-stem junction of modular stems used for total hip arthroplasty (THA) are generating increasing concern. A 74-year-old male had increasing pain and a cutaneous reaction around the scar 1 year after THA with a modular neck-stem. Imaging revealed osteolysis of the calcar and a pseudo-tumour adjacent to the neck-stem junction. Serum cobalt levels were elevated. Revision surgery to exchange the stem and liner and to resect the pseudo-tumour was performed. Analysis of the stem by scanning electron microscopy and by energy dispersive X-ray and white light interferometry showed fretting corrosion at the neck-stem junction contrasting with minimal changes at the head-neck junction. Thus, despite dry assembly of the neck and stem on the back table at primary THA, full neck-stem contact was not achieved, and the resulting micromotion at the interface led to fretting corrosion. This case highlights the mechanism of fretting corrosion at the neck-stem interface responsible for adverse local tissue reactions. Clinical and radiological follow-up is mandatory in patients with dual-modular stems. (C) 2014 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

Published in:
Orthopaedics & Traumatology-Surgery & Research, 101, 1, 123-126
Milano, Elsevier Masson

 Record created 2015-05-29, last modified 2018-03-17

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