Nonmodular Tapered Fluted Titanium Stems Osseointegrate Reliably at Short Term in Revision THAs
The ideal femoral component for revision THA is undecided. Cylindrical nonmodular stems have been associated with stress shielding, whereas junctional fractures have been reported with tapered fluted modular titanium stems. We have used a tapered fluted nonmodular titanium femoral component (Wagner Self-locking [SL] femoral stem) to mitigate this risk. This component has been used extensively in Europe by its designer surgeons, but to our knowledge, it has not been studied in North America. Added to this, the design of the component has changed since early reports.
We asked: (1) Does the Wagner SL stem have low rates of rerevision and other complications at a minimum 2 years after surgery? (2) Is the Wagner SL stem associated with high levels of patient function and pain relief at a minimum 2 years after surgery? (3) Does the Wagner SL stem have low rates of subsidence at a minimum 2 years after surgery? (4) Is the Wagner SL stem associated with proximal femoral bone remodeling at a minimum 2 years after surgery?
Between May 2011 and December 2012, we performed 198 femoral revisions, of which 104 (53%) were performed using the Wagner SL femoral stem; during that period, our institution gradually shifted toward increasing use of these stems for all but the most severe revisions, in which modular fluted stems and proximal femoral replacements still are used on an occasional basis. Median followup in this retrospective study was 32 months (range, 24–46 months), and one patient was lost to followup before the 2-year minimum. The femoral deformities in this series were Paprosky Type I (10 hips), Paprosky Type II (26), Paprosky Type IIIA (52), Paprosky Type IIIB (nine), and Paprosky Type IV (two). Functional assessment was performed using the Oxford Hip Score (OHS), WOMAC, SF-12, and the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) activity score. All complications and cases of revision were documented. All patients had radiographs performed within 1 year of the latest followup. These were assessed by two surgeons for signs of proximal femoral bone remodeling and subsidence.
Complete preoperative scores were available for 98 patients (98 of 104; 94%). The mean OHS preoperatively and at final followup were 39 (SD, 15) and 87 (SD, 19), respectively (p < 0.001; mean difference, 48; 95% CI, 43–53). Average WOMAC scores were 44 (SD, 15) and 87 (SD, 20), respectively (p < 0.001; mean difference, 43; 95% CI, 38–48). At final followup, signs of restoration of proximal femoral bone stock was noted in 45 of 103 hips (44%). Six (six of 104; 6%) patients had subsidence of 10 mm to 15 mm. In the remainder (98 of 104; 94%), the mean subsidence was 2 mm (range, 0–9 mm). One revision was performed for loosening associated with infection.
The Wagner SL stem is a viable option for patients with Paprosky Types II and III defects undergoing revision THA. This component provides high levels of patient function with low revision rates and low rates of subsidence during the early postoperative phase. They provide a viable alternative to modular components for treatment of Types II and III defects without the risk of junctional fractures. They can be used for very selected Type IV defects, however this extent of bone loss is most easily addressed with other techniques such as a proximal femoral replacement.
Level of Evidence
Level IV, therapeutic study