Gross Trunnion Failure of a Cobalt-Chromium Femoral Head on a Titanium Stem at Midterm Follow-up: A Report of 3 Cases

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Three patients underwent uncomplicated primary total hip arthroplasty with cobalt-chromium femoral heads (36+5 mm) on titanium V40 tapers. At 6 to 9 years of follow-up, severe effects of corrosion at the trunnion were noted in all 3 patients, along with elevated levels of serum cobalt ions and normal levels of serum chromium ions. Gross trunnion failure, apparently caused by corrosion, required femoral stem revision in all of the patients.


Decreased neck diameter, longer trunnion length, and large-sized cobalt-chromium heads are possible contributors to early failure after primary total hip arthroplasty due to trunnionosis. Surgeons should be mindful of trunnionosis as a cause of pain and a mechanism of failure following total hip arthroplasty, and serum metal ions should be monitored in these patients.

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