Reasons for revision of failed hemiarthroplasty: Are there any differences between unipolar and bipolar?

Eur J Orthop Surg Traumatol. 2018 Aug;28(6):1117-1123. doi: 10.1007/s00590-018-2176-0. Epub 2018 Mar 16.


Background: Hemiarthroplasty (HA) is an effective procedure for treatment of femoral neck fracture. However, it is debatable whether unipolar or bipolar HA is the most suitable implant.

Objective: The purpose of this study was to compare the causes of failure and longevity in both types of HA.

Materials and methods: We retrospectively reviewed 133 cases that underwent revision surgery of HA between 2002 and 2012. The causes of revision surgery were identified and stratified into early (≤ 5 years) failure and late (> 5 years) failure. Survival analyses were performed for each implant type.

Results: The common causes for revision were aseptic loosening (49.6%), infection (22.6%) and acetabular erosion (15.0%). Unipolar and bipolar HA were not different in causes for revision, but the unipolar group had a statistically significantly higher number of acetabular erosion events compared with the bipolar group (p = 0.002). In the early period, 24 unipolar HA (52.9%) and 28 bipolar HA (34.1%) failed. There were no statistically significant differences in the numbers of revised HA in each period between the two groups (p = 0.138). The median survival times in the unipolar and bipolar groups were 84.0 ± 24.5 and 120.0 ± 5.5 months, respectively. However, the survival times of both implants were not statistically significantly different.

Conclusions: Aseptic loosening was the most common reason for revision surgery after hemiarthroplasty surgery in early and late failures. Unipolar and bipolar hemiarthroplasty were not different in terms of causes of failure and survivorship except bipolar hemiarthroplasty had many fewer acetabular erosion events.

Keywords: Bipolar; Cause; Failure; Hemiarthroplasty; Revision; Unipolar.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Hip / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Femoral Neck Fractures / surgery*
  • Hemiarthroplasty / adverse effects*
  • Hip Prosthesis / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prosthesis Failure / adverse effects*
  • Reoperation
  • Retrospective Studies