Asymptomatic total hip prosthesis: natural history determined using Tc-99m MDP bone scans

Radiology. 1986 Nov;161(2):509-12. doi: 10.1148/radiology.161.2.3763923.


A prospective study was performed with 97 patients who had undergone total hip replacement surgery and who were not experiencing pain or other symptoms or problems. The study was intended to determine the normal postoperative appearance of radionuclide scans of the hip following administration of technetium-99m methylene diphosphonate. Five areas of the prostheses were evaluated. Results showed that 6 months after implantation activity around the lesser trochanter and prosthesis shaft became insignificant. Activity around the acetabulum, greater trochanter, and prosthesis tip stabilized approximately 2 years after surgery; approximately 10% of patients in the study had persistent activity in these areas. Familiarity with this normal progression is fundamental to interpretation of postoperative bone scans in patients with total hip prosthesis.

MeSH terms

  • Acetabulum / diagnostic imaging
  • Femur / diagnostic imaging
  • Hip Prosthesis*
  • Humans
  • Prosthesis Failure / diagnostic imaging
  • Radionuclide Imaging
  • Technetium Tc 99m Medronate*


  • Technetium Tc 99m Medronate