The Evolution of the Cup-Cage Technique for Major Acetabular Defects: Full and Half Cup-Cage Reconstruction

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Complex acetabular reconstruction for major bone loss can require advanced methods such as the use of a cup-cage construct. The purpose of this study was to review outcomes after the initial development of the cup-cage technique and the subsequent evolution to the use of a half cup-cage construct.


We performed a retrospective, single-center review of 57 patients treated with cup-cage reconstruction for major acetabular bone loss. All patients had major acetabular defects graded as Paprosky Type 2B through 3B, with 34 (60%) having an associated pelvic discontinuity. Thirty patients received a full cup-cage construct and 27, a half cup-cage construct. The mean follow-up was 5 years.


Both the full and half cup-cage cohorts demonstrated significantly improved Harris hip score (HHS) values, from 36 to 72 at a minimum of 2 years of follow-up (p < 0.05). Early construct migration occurred in 4 patients, with stabilization prior to 2-year follow-up in all but 1 patient. Incomplete, zone-3, nonprogressive acetabular radiolucencies were observed in 2 (7%) of the full cup-cage constructs and 6 (22%) of the half cup-cage constructs. One patient with a full cup-cage construct underwent re-revision of the acetabular component for progressive migration and aseptic loosening. Short-term survivorship free from re-revision for any cause or reoperation was 89% (83% and 96% for full and half cup-cage cohorts, respectively).


Both full and half cup-cage constructs demonstrated successful clinical outcomes and survivorship in the treatment of major acetabular defects and pelvic discontinuity. Each method is utilized on the basis of individual intraoperative findings, including the extent and pattern of bone loss, the quality and location of host bone remaining after preparation, and the presence of pelvic discontinuity. Longer-term follow-up is required to understand the durability of these constructs in treating major acetabular defects and pelvic discontinuity.

Level of Evidence:

Therapeutic Level III. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

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