Retrieval Analysis of Large-Head Modular Metal-on-Metal Hip Replacements of a Single Design

J Arthroplasty. 2018 Jun;33(6):1945-1952. doi: 10.1016/j.arth.2017.12.044. Epub 2018 Jan 9.


Background: There are limited publications examining modular metal-on-metal (MoM) total hip implants in which a comprehensive analysis of retrieved components is performed. This study examines 24 retrieved modular MoM implants from a single manufacturer and compares retrieval analytics; bearing surface damage, wear, and modular taper corrosion against patient, surgical and implant characteristics to elucidate significant associations.

Methods: Clinical, patient, and surgical data were collected including age, body mass index, blood metal ion levels, and cup inclination. Damage assessment was performed visually in addition to surface profilometry. Acetabular liners and femoral heads were measured for volumetric wear. Femoral head taper bores were similarly measured for material removal due to corrosion and fretting.

Results: Patients with MoM-related reasons for revision showed significantly higher levels of blood metal ion levels. Bearing wear was strongly associated with blood metal ion levels and was significantly increased in cups placed more vertically. Younger patients tended to have higher body mass indices as well as poorer cup placement.

Conclusion: This work details a broad range of analyses on a series of modular MoM total hip implants from a single manufacturer of which there are few published studies. Acetabular cup inclination angle was deemed a primary cause of revision surgery through increased MoM wear, high metal ion levels in the blood, and subsequent adverse local tissue reactions. Heavy patients can increase the surgical difficulty which was shown to be related to poor cup placement in this cohort.

Keywords: damage; implant retrieval analysis; metal ions; metal-on-metal; total hip arthroplasty; wear.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetabulum / surgery
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Hip / adverse effects*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cohort Studies
  • Corrosion
  • Female
  • Femur Head / surgery
  • Hip Prosthesis / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Metal-on-Metal Joint Prostheses / adverse effects*
  • Metals
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / complications
  • Prosthesis Design*
  • Prosthesis Failure*
  • Reoperation / adverse effects*


  • Metals