Restoration of joint centre during total hip arthroplasty is critical. While computer-aided navigation can improve accuracy during total hip arthroplasty, its expense makes it inaccessible to the majority of surgeons. This article evaluates the use, in the laboratory, of a calliper with a simple computer application to measure changes in femoral head centres during total hip arthroplasty. The computer application was designed using Microsoft Excel and used calliper measurements taken pre- and post-femoral head resection to predict the change in head centre in terms of offset and vertical height between the femoral head and newly inserted prosthesis. Its accuracy was assessed using a coordinate measuring machine to compare changes in preoperative and post-operative head centre when simulating stem insertion on 10 sawbone femurs. A femoral stem with a modular neck was used, which meant nine possible head centre configurations were available for each femur, giving 90 results. The results show that using this technique during a simulated total hip arthroplasty, it was possible to restore femoral head centre to within 6 mm for offset (mean 1.67 ± 1.16 mm) and vertical height (mean 2.14 ± 1.51 mm). It is intended that this low-cost technique be extended to inform the surgeon of a best-fit solution in terms of neck length and neck type for a specific prosthesis.
Keywords: Total hip arthroplasty; calliper; femoral head restoration.