Bone and Joint Institute

Damage Assessment of Retrieved Birmingham Monoblock Cups: Is Conversion to Dual-Mobility Head a Viable Revision Option?

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Journal of Arthroplasty





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© 2017 Elsevier Inc. Background: A novel revision technique for failed hip resurfacings involves retention of the acetabular cup, if well-fixed, which is mated to dual-mobility (DM) prosthesis in a traditional hip replacement configuration. It is unknown whether existing damage on the retained cup will result in unacceptable wear of the DM prosthesis. Methods: Thirty retrieved Birmingham (Smith & Nephew) monoblock cups were visually scored for damage features and area of coverage. Surface roughness measurements were obtained within each damage feature as well as reference points on each cup. Analysis of prior metal-on-metal wear was also performed to determine the maximum change in diameter of the cup. Results: Scratching and grooving (deep, singular scratches) were the most common damage features. Overall bearing surface roughness was estimated as 0.059 μm (±0.030 μm) based on percent area coverage of each damage feature. Dimensional change of the bearing surface was negligible for most cups (18 of 30) but ranged from 0.20 to 0.38 mm for the most severely worn samples (5 of 30). Conclusion: Average surface roughness of the retrieved Birmingham cups was low, suggesting an expected 10%-20% increase in DM prosthesis wear. Similarly, dimensional change of the cup due to prior wear is not believed to significantly affect wear. Our findings support the use of a DM head in appropriate scenarios but suggest caution when applied to younger, more active patients whom may be adversely affected by increased prosthesis wear in the long term.

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