Trunnion corrosion in metal-on-polyethylene hip arthroplasty: a simple diagnosis and treatment?

Journal Article (Journal Article)

AIMS: To report our experience with trunnion corrosion following metal-on-polyethylene total hip arthroplasty, in particular to report the spectrum of presentation and determine the mean time to presentation. PATIENTS AND METHODS: We report the presenting symptoms and signs, intraoperative findings, and early results and complications of operative treatment in nine patients with a mean age of 74 years (60 to 86). The onset of symptoms was at a mean of seven years (3 to 18) after index surgery. RESULTS: Patients presented with a variety of symptoms including pain, limp and rash. The preoperative mean serum cobalt level was 7.1 ppb (2.2 to 12.8) and mean serum chromium level was 2.2 ppb (0.5 to 5.2). Metal artifact reduction sequence (MARS) MRI showed fluid collection and possible pseudotumour formation in five hips, fluid collection in two hips, and synovitis/debris in one hip, with no MRI in one patient. Acetabular revision was performed in three patients, six patients underwent liner and head exchange only. The postoperative metal levels decreased in all patients: mean cobalt 0.5 ppb (0 to 1.8) and mean chromium 0.9 ppb (0 to 2.6) at a mean of five months (3 to 8) postoperatively. Seven patients had good pain relief and no complications at one year. There were two major complications requiring reoperation: acute infection at six weeks, for which the patient required two-stage reimplantation; and recurrent dislocation, for which the patient was revised to a dual mobility component. CONCLUSION: Trunnion corrosion in metal-on-polyethylene THA has a range of presenting symptoms, and may present later than previously described. A high index of suspicion is warranted, and serum cobalt and chromium levels are recommended for diagnosis. Patients should be counselled about possible postoperative complications. Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2018;100-B:898-902.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Lachiewicz, PF; O'Dell, JA

Published Date

  • July 2018

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 100-B / 7

Start / End Page

  • 898 - 902

PubMed ID

  • 29954198

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2049-4408

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1302/0301-620X.100B7.BJJ-2017-1127.R2


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England