Total femoral arthroplasty for non-oncological indications

Bone Joint J. 2023 Aug 1;105-B(8):888-894. doi: 10.1302/0301-620X.105B8.BJJ-2022-1372.R1.


Aims: Total femoral arthroplasty (TFA) is a rare procedure used in cases of significant femoral bone loss, commonly from cancer, infection, and trauma. Low patient numbers have resulted in limited published work on long-term outcomes, and even less regarding TFA undertaken for non-oncological indications. The aim of this study was to evaluate the long-term clinical outcomes of all TFAs in our unit.

Methods: Data were collected retrospectively from a large tertiary referral revision arthroplasty unit's database. Inclusion criteria included all patients who underwent TFA in our unit. Preoperative demographics, operative factors, and short- and long-term outcomes were collected for analysis. Outcome was defined using the Musculoskeletal Infection Society (MSIS) outcome reporting tool.

Results: Overall, 38 TFAs were identified. The mean age was 73 years (42 to 80). All patients underwent TFA for non-oncological indications, most commonly as a consequence of infection (53%) and periprosthetic fracture (26%). The mean follow-up time was ten years (0 to 26); 63% of TFAs were considered a success based upon the MSIS outcome reporting tool. The mean time between TFA and death was 8.5 years (0.2 to 19.2), with two patients dying within one year of surgery. Within the cohort, 66% suffered at least one complication, dislocation being most common (37%); 55% of the total cohort required at least one subsequent operation. In total, 70% of TFAs undertaken for infection were considered infection-free at time of final follow-up. The percentage of mobile patients improved from 52% to 65% between pre- and postoperation, with all patients being able to at least transfer from bed to chair at time of final review.

Conclusion: This study is the largest in the UK assessing the use of TFA in patients with bone loss secondary to non-oncological conditions. It demonstrates that TFA has a significant complication profile, however it is favourable in terms of mortality and rehabilitation when compared to amputation and disarticulation.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Amputation, Surgical
  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Hip* / methods
  • Femur / surgery
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Periprosthetic Fractures* / etiology
  • Periprosthetic Fractures* / surgery
  • Reoperation / methods
  • Retrospective Studies