Is titanium so bad?
Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery
E arly failures have seen titanium fall from favour as a material for cemented femoral stems. Between 1989 and 1994, we performed a prospective review of a consecutive series of 122 cemented total hip replacements using the Ultima straight textured titanium stem, and report the five-to ten-year clinical and radiological outcomes. There were no revisions for loosening of the femoral stem. Revision surgery was undertaken for other reasons such as dislocation, infection and loosening of the cup in
... ening of the cup in 7.3%. Of those patients without revision all but two were satisfied with their hip, with 74% graded good or excellent using a modified Harris hip score. Radiological assessment revealed probable loosening in two. Although slight vertical subsidence was found in one-third of patients it had not progressed to loosening. It is not clear whether this represents debonding. Non-progressive radiolucent lines (1 to 2 mm) were present in zone 1 at the cement-prosthesis interface in 14.7%. Calcar resorption and hypertrophy around the distal stem were not often seen. With 97% survival at a mean of 7.5 years, the medium-term results of this specific cemented titanium stem are reassuring so far, but we are concerned about debonding and future failure. J Bone Joint Surg [Br] 2001;83-B:680-5.