The effect of surgical approach in total hip replacement on outcomes: an analysis of 723,904 elective operations from the National Joint Registry for England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man

Ashley W Blom*, Linda P Hunt, Gulraj Matharu, Mike R Reed, Michael R Whitehouse

*Corresponding author for this work

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

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Abstract

Background Total hip replacement (THR) is clinically and cost-effective. The surgical approach employed influences the outcome, however there is little generalisable and robust evidence to guide practice. 
Methods 723,904 primary THRs captured in the National Joint Registry, linked to hospital inpatient, mortality and patient reported outcome measures (PROMs) data with up to 13·75 years follow-up were analysed. There were seven surgical approach groups: conventional posterior, lateral, anterior and trans-trochanteric groups and minimally invasive posterior, lateral and anterior. Survival methods were used to compare revision rates and 90-day mortality. Groups were compared using Cox proportional hazards and Flexible Parametric Survival Modelling (FPM). Confounders included age at surgery, sex, risk group (indications additional to osteoarthritis), American Society of Anesthesiologists grade, THR fixation, thromboprophylaxis, anaesthetic, body mass index (BMI), and deprivation. PROMs were analysed with regression modelling or nonparametric methods. 
Results Unadjusted analysis showed a higher revision risk than the referent conventional posterior for the conventional lateral, minimally invasive lateral, minimally invasive anterior and trans-trochanteric groups. This persisted with all adjusted FPM and adjusted Cox models, except in the Cox model including BMI where the higher revision rate only persisted for the conventional lateral approach (Hazard Rate Ratio (HRR) 1·12 [95% CI 1·06,1·17] P<0·001) and trans-trochanteric approaches (HRR 1.48 [95% CI 1.14,1.91] P=0.003). PROMs demonstrated statistically, but not clinically, significant differences. Self-reported complications were more frequent with the conventional lateral approach and the risk of 90-day mortality was higher (HRR 1·15 [95%CI 1·011·30] P=0·029). 
Conclusions Lateral approaches for THR are associated with worse outcomes, including more deaths and revisions, than the posterior approach. We recommend the posterior approach should be considered the current standard approach for THR. Large welldesigned studies are needed to assess any potential benefits from using minimally invasive approaches and the conventional anterior approach.
Original languageEnglish
Article number242 (2020)
Number of pages12
JournalBMC Medicine
Volume18
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6 Aug 2020

Keywords

  • Hip replacement
  • Surgical approach
  • Outcomes
  • Revisions surgery
  • Mortality

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