Measuring the migration of the components and polyethylene wear after total hip arthroplasty: BEADS AND SPECIALISED RADIOGRAPHS ARE NOT NECESSARY

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Abstract

Aims

This paper describes the methodology, validation and reliability of a new computer-assisted method which uses models of the patient's bones and the components to measure their migration and polyethylene wear from radiographs after total hip arthroplasty (THA).

Materials and Methods

Models of the patient's acetabular and femoral component obtained from the manufacturer and models of the patient's pelvis and femur built from a single computed tomography (CT) scan, are used by a computer program to measure the migration of the components and the penetration of the femoral head from anteroposterior and lateral radiographs taken at follow-up visits. The program simulates the radiographic setup and matches the position and orientation of the models to outlines of the pelvis, the acetabular and femoral component, and femur on radiographs. Changes in position and orientation reflect the migration of the components and the penetration of the femoral head. Validation was performed using radiographs of phantoms simulating known migration and penetration, and the clinical feasibility of measuring migration was assessed in two patients.

Results

Migration of the acetabular and femoral components can be measured with limits of agreement (LOA) of 0.37 mm and 0.33 mm, respectively. Penetration of the femoral head can be measured with LOA of 0.161 mm.

Conclusion

The migration of components and polyethylene wear can be measured without needing specialised radiographs. Accurate measurement may allow earlier prediction of failure after THA.

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