The crescent sign: dissociation of the polyethylene liner from a modular acetabular component in total hip arthroplasty

SP White, AW Blom, MB Lee, EJ Smith

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

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective To study whether there was a common pattern of clinical symptoms, signs and radiographic features for the dissociation of the polyethylene liner from an acetabular component and to postulate reasons for these features. Design and patients Retrospective study of notes and radiographs of cases of revision hip arthroplasty for polyethylene liner dissociation of the cementless Harris–Galante I porous-coated acetabular component (Zimmer Inc, Warsaw, IN) at the Avon Orthopaedic Centre, Bristol, UK and St. Marys Hospital, Bristol, UK between 1995 and 2004. Patients were contacted to confirm preoperative symptoms. Results Nine cases of late polyethylene liner dissociation of this prosthesis have been revised in these institutions. All patients presented with a reduction in mobility, groin pain and limp. Eight patients reported an audible noise on hip movement. In all cases, radiographs showed radiolucency medial to the femoral neck in association with an eccentrically placed femoral head showing contact with the acetabular metal shell, which we have termed the crescent sign. Conclusions There is a typical clinical presentation in this study. The diagnosis can be made from a single anteroposterior pelvic radiograph without the need for previous films for comparison, or the need for arthrography. Clinicians should look specifically for the crescent sign when an eccentrically placed femoral head has been noted, in order to differentiate the more unusual diagnosis of dissociation from that of polyethylene wear. Early revision surgery can prevent damage to the femoral head and metal acetabular shell, thus reducing the complexity of revision surgery.
Translated title of the contributionThe crescent sign: dissociation of the polyethylene liner from a modular acetabular component in total hip arthroplasty
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)620 - 624
Number of pages5
JournalSkeletal Radiology
Volume34(10)
Publication statusPublished - 2005

Bibliographical note

Publisher: Springer-Verlag GmbH

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