Despite existing studies favoring cemented fixation for patients older than 75 years, a trend toward increased use of uncemented fixation has been described in a 2012 study that used arthroplasty registry data from 2006 to 2010. Updated summarized data are needed beyond 2010 to investigate contemporary trends in the usage of uncemented fixation, especially in patients older than 75 years, and to draw attention to a potential continuing conflict between trends in fixation choice and reported revision risk. Thus, healthcare policy and practice can change and surgeons can make better implant fixation choices.
(1) Has the percentage of primary THAs performed with uncemented fixation changed since 2010? (2) Has the percentage of primary THAs performed in patients older than 75 years performed with uncemented fixation changed since 2010? (3) After stratifying by age, which fixation strategy (cemented versus uncemented and hybrid versus uncemented) is associated with the lowest risk of revision?
National annual reports from hip arthroplasty registers were identified, and data were extracted from registers published in English or a Scandinavian language, with at least 3 years of reported data in the period from 2010 to 2017. These included Australia, Denmark, England-Wales, Finland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Romania, Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland, which are all countries with high completeness rates. Data regarding rates of revisions (all causes) related to fixation methods and secondary to different age groups, were taken directly from the registers and no re-analysis was done. The risk estimates were presented as either hazard ratios, rate per 100 component years or as Kaplan-Meier estimates of revision. The age groups compared for Denmark were younger than 50, 50-59, 60-69,70-79, and older than 80 years, and for Australia, New Zealand, England-Wales, and Finland, they were younger than 55, 55-64, 65-74, and older than 75 years. No data were pooled across the registers.
The current use of uncemented fixation in primary THAs varies between 24% (Sweden) and 71% (Denmark). Increasing use of uncemented fixation has been reported in Norway, Denmark, and Sweden, whereas decreasing use of uncemented fixation has been reported in England-Wales, Australia, New Zealand, and Finland. Examining the group of patients older than 75 years, we found that the use of uncemented fixation has been stable in Netherlands, Sweden, New Zealand, and England-Wales. The use of uncemented fixation is still increasing in Denmark and Australia. In Finland, the use of uncemented fixation has decreased (from 43 % to 24 %) from 2010 to 2017. When compared with uncemented fixation, the risk of revision for hips using cemented fixation was lower in patients older than 75 years for all registers surveyed, except for the oldest males in the Finnish register. In this group, no difference was found between cemented and uncemented fixation.
Our findings should be used in healthcare policy as feedback on current THAs being performed so as to direct surgeons to choose the right implant fixation, especially in patients older than 75 years, thereby reducing revision risk and increasing the long-term survival of primary THAs. It appears that femoral stem fixation may be the most important revision risk factor in older patients, and future studies should examine this perspective.
LEVEL OF EVIDENCE:
Level III, therapeutic study.