Delayed dislocation following metal-on-polyethylene hip replacement due to “silent” trunnion corrosion

Nicholas Lash, Michael Whitehouse*, Nelson Greidanus, Donald S Garbuz, Bassam A Masri, Clive P Duncan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)
436 Downloads (Pure)


Aims We present a case series of ten metal-on-polyethylene total hip arthroplasties (MoP THAs) with delayed dislocation associated with unrecognised adverse local tissue reaction due to corrosion at the trunnion and pseudotumour formation.

Methods The diagnosis was not suspected in nine of the ten patients (six female/four male; mean age 66 years), despite treatment in a specialist unit (mean time from index surgery to revision was 58 months, 36 to 84). It was identified at revision surgery and subsequently confirmed by histological examination of resected tissue. Pre-operative assessment and culture results ruled out infection. A variety of treatment strategies were used, including resection of the pseudotumour and efforts to avoid recurrent dislocation.

Results The rate of complications was high and included three deep infections, two patients with recurrent dislocation, and one recurrent pseudotumour.

Conclusion This series (mean follow-up of 76 months following index procedure and 19 months following revision THA) demonstrates that pseudotumour is an infrequent but important contributor to delayed instability following MoP THA. It is easy to overlook in the differential diagnosis, especially if the alignment of the components is less than optimal, leading to an assumption that malalignment is the cause of the dislocation. The instability is likely to be multifactorial and the revision surgery is complex.

Take home message: Due to the high complication rate associated with revision in this cohort, the diagnosis should be borne in mind when counselling patients regarding the risks of revision surgery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187–193
Number of pages7
JournalBone and Joint Journal
Issue number2
Early online date5 Feb 2016
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2016

Structured keywords

  • Centre for Surgical Research


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