Preparing the femur before the acetabulum does not reduce total blood loss in primary total hip replacement

Jarrad M Stevens, Sarah Shiels, Michael Whitehouse, Richard Baker

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

1 Citation (Scopus)
76 Downloads (Pure)


Introduction: Total hip replacement is a common and effective surgical intervention for patients with debilitating joint pain but it does represent a significant surgical intervention. For such interventions, blood loss is a potential cause of morbidity and mortality. Optimisation of surgical interventions focuses on reducing such risks. The aim of this study was to determine whether the order of surgical steps, preparing the femur before or after the acetabulum, was associated with the amount of total blood loss in total hip replacement.

Methods: We performed a retrospective study of 100 patients undergoing primary total hip replacement between 2014 and 2018. This was a before and after (interrupted time series) study around the introduction of femur first preparation for total hip replacement in our unit. Fifty patients underwent a standard femoral preparation after placement of the acetabular component. The second 50 patients had the femoral canal prepared and broached prior to the acetabular component. Estimated blood volume and total blood loss associated with the perioperative period were calculated for each patient and a multiple regression analysis performed to account for other patient and surgical variables associated with perioperative blood loss.

Results: There was a small reduction in total blood loss for the group who underwent femoral preparation prior to acetabular preparation with a mean difference of 39 mls. This difference however was not clinically or statistically (p = 0.392) significant. Gender (p < 0.0001), Body Mass Index (BMI; p < 0.0001), preoperative haematocrit (p < 0.0001), postoperative haematocrit (p < 0.0001) and age (p = 0.004) were the only factors significantly associated with the total volume of blood loss.

Conclusions: Whether the femur was prepared before or after the acetabulum did not significantly predict the total volume of blood loss for primary total hip replacement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)353-355
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Orthopaedics
Issue number4
Early online date7 Apr 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2019

Structured keywords

  • Centre for Surgical Research


  • Blood loss
  • Femur first
  • Technique
  • Total hip replacement


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