1. Hip arthroplasty revision
2. Metal-on-metal complications
3. Oxford Hip Score
4. Prosthetic joint failure
5. Hip replacement outcomes


Metal-on-metal total hip arthroplasties (MoM THAs) have been the topic of growing concern in orthopedic surgery due to the increased rate of revisions these implants require. The latest research seeks to shed light on the outcomes of such revision surgeries and identify prognostic factors that could predict functional outcome success following revision. This article explores an extensive study published in The Journal of Arthroplasty that examined the largest series of MoM THA revisions to date.

Study Overview

The researchers, led by Zakk M. Borton and his colleagues, carried out a single-center, consecutive series examination of patients who underwent revision surgery from MoM THAs. The study, titled “The Outcome of Revision Surgery for Failed Metal-on-Metal Total Hip Arthroplasty,” assesses post-revision functional outcomes using the Oxford Hip Score (OHS) and other parameters such as blood metal ion levels and MRI findings based on the modified Oxford classification.

With a median follow-up of 5.48 years, the team identified 180 revisions, establishing that the median OHS improved considerably from 29 to 37 post-revision. However, the degree of functional benefit observed varied significantly depending on whether patients displayed symptoms before undergoing revision surgery.

Key Findings

The study presented critical findings that are valuable for both clinicians and patients considering hip revision surgery:

1. Patients who experienced symptoms before revision surgery reported the greatest functional benefit, underlining the importance of patient-reported symptoms in clinical decision-making.
2. The improvement in OHS for symptomatic patients had a median change of 6.5, whereas asymptomatic patients only saw a change of 1.4, which was not statistically significant.
3. The use of cobalt-chromium-containing bearing surfaces in revision surgery and an increased body mass index (BMI) were associated with poorer functional outcomes.
4. Symptomatic patients did not attain the same level of function post-revision as patients who were asymptomatic before revision.
5. There were significant secondary findings related to complication data, changes in pre- and post-revision blood metal ion levels, and MRI features using the modified Oxford classification system.

Implications for Medical Practice

The findings from Borton et al.’s study have wide-ranging implications for orthopedic surgery and patient management:

Patient Selection: Clinicians now have evidence to better inform patients who may derive the most benefit from revision surgery based on the presence of symptoms.
Material Consideration: The negative association between cobalt-chromium-containing bearing surfaces in revisions and functional outcomes suggests that alternative materials should be considered to optimize patient recovery.
Preoperative Assessment: The modified Oxford classification system for MRI findings prior to surgery may serve as a valuable prognostic tool for anticipating complications and outcomes.

Challenges and Considerations

While the study’s findings contribute valuable data to the field, the authors also point to several challenges:

1. Patient selection bias may exist, given that symptomatic individuals were likely more motivated to proceed with revision due to discomfort.
2. The study’s retrospective nature may limit the ability to control for confounding variables that could influence outcomes.
3. Further research is needed to explore the long-term durability of hip implants post-revision and identify additional factors influencing outcomes.

Comparison with Previous Studies

Previously published studies have shown varied results regarding the success rates and functional outcomes of MoM THA revisions. By compiling the largest patient series to date, Borton and colleagues provide robust data to support clinical recommendations.

Future Perspectives

As the field advances, we can expect:

1.  More extensive use of alternative bearing surfaces in hip arthroplasty revisions.
2. Ongoing clinical trials to evaluate long-term outcomes and potential for recovery post-revision.
3. Development of predictive modeling tools using data from preoperative assessments to tailor patient-specific management strategies.


Borton et al.’s study represents a pivotal contribution to orthopedic literature, as it provides actionable insights for improving patient outcomes following revision surgery for failed MoM THAs. With a detailed understanding of functional outcomes and prognostic factors, patients and their care teams can make more informed decisions regarding revision surgery. Ensuring the selection of appropriate implant materials and considering a patient’s symptomatic status before revision may serve as crucial determinants for postoperative success.

DOI: 10.1016/j.arth.2019.03.067


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