Early experience with a novel nonmetallic cable in reconstructive hip surgery

Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2010 Sep;468(9):2382-6. doi: 10.1007/s11999-010-1284-x.


Background: Metallic wires and cables are commonly used in primary and revision THA for fixation of periprosthetic fractures and osteotomies of the greater trochanter. These systems provide secure fixation and high healing rates but fraying, third-body generation, accelerated wear of the bearing surface, and injury to the surgical team remain concerning.

Questions/purposes: We determined the rate of cable failure, union, and complications associated with a novel, nonmetallic cerclage cable in periprosthetic fracture and osteotomy fixation during THA.

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed 29 patients who had primary and revision THAs using nonmetallic cables. Indications for use included fixation of an extended trochanteric osteotomy, intraoperative fracture of the proximal femur, strut allograft fixation, and a Vancouver B1 periprosthetic fracture of the femur. All patients were evaluated clinically and radiographically immediately postoperatively, at 3 weeks, 6 weeks, 3 months, and then annually thereafter. The minimum followup was 13 months (mean, 21 months; range, 13-30 months).

Results: Two of the 29 patients (7%) developed a nonunion; all remaining osteotomies, fractures and allografts had healed at the time of most recent evaluation. Four patients (14%) dislocated postoperatively; two were treated successfully with closed reduction, while the other two required reoperation. We identified no evidence of breakage or other complications directly attributable to the cables.

Conclusions: The nonmetallic periprosthetic cables used in this series provided adequate fixation to allow for both osteotomy and fracture healing. We did not observe any complications directly related to the cables. Level of Evidence Level IV, therapeutic study. See Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Hip / adverse effects
  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Hip / instrumentation*
  • Equipment Design
  • Equipment Failure
  • Female
  • Femoral Fractures / diagnostic imaging
  • Femoral Fractures / etiology
  • Femoral Fractures / surgery*
  • Fracture Healing
  • Fractures, Ununited / diagnostic imaging
  • Fractures, Ununited / etiology
  • Fractures, Ununited / surgery*
  • Hip Joint / diagnostic imaging
  • Hip Joint / surgery*
  • Hip Prosthesis*
  • Humans
  • Internal Fixators*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteotomy / adverse effects
  • Osteotomy / instrumentation*
  • Prosthesis Failure
  • Radiography
  • Reoperation
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome