Prior Instability is Strongly Associated With Dislocation After Isolated Head and Liner Exchange



      Isolated head and liner exchange is an appealing alternative to a more extensive revision total hip arthroplasty in patients who have well-fixed components. Despite efforts to increase femoral offset and restore soft tissue tensioning, limited component revision may be associated with higher rates of postoperative instability.


      This retrospective analysis assessed 209 patients who had a head and liner exchange conducted at a large academic medical center between 2011 and 2019 and had >2 years of follow-up. Functional cup positioning within the Lewinnek safe zone was assessed on postoperative weight-bearing radiographs. Included patients were 56% women, had a mean age of 64 years (range, 24-89) and a mean body mass index of 28.8 kg/m2 (range, 18.2-46.7). The most common indications for surgery included acetabular liner wear in 86 hips (41%), instability in 40 hips (19%), and infection in 36 hips (17%).


      Twenty-eight hips (13%) had a dislocation within 2 years after surgery. The best-fit model predicting postoperative dislocation included a history of dislocation (adjusted-odds ratio [adj-OR] 5.67, 95% CI 2.39-14.09, P < .001), age (adj-OR 1.04 per 1-year increase, 95% CI 0.99-1.08, P = .10), and body mass index (adj-OR 0.90 per 1-kg/m2 increase, 95% CI 0.80-0.99, P = .046).


      In a large cohort of patients who had isolated head and liner exchange, patients who had prior instability had 7-fold elevated odds of postoperative dislocation. This risk remains significant after controlling for cup positioning outside the Lewinnek safe zone, liner type, head size, neck length, soft tissue compromise, neuromuscular disease, and dual mobility constructs.

      Level of Evidence

      III, retrospective cohort study.


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