Article Title

Total hip arthroplasty by the direct anterior approach using a neck-preserving stem: Safety, efficacy and learning curve


Background: The concept of femoral neck preservation in total hip replacement (THR) was introduced in 1993. It is postulated that retaining cortical bone of the femoral neck offers triplanar stability, uniform stress distribution, and accommodates physiological anteversion. However, data on safety, efficacy and learning curve are lacking.

Materials and Methods: We prospectively assessed all patients who were operated for a THR with a short neck preserving stem (MiniHip) between 2012 and 2014. The safety and learning curve were assessed by recording operative time; stem size; and adverse events including periprosthetic fracture; paresthesia; and limb length discrepancy (LLD). The cohort was divided into equal groups to assess the learning curve effect, and the cumulative sums (CUSUM) test was performed to monitor intraoperative neck fractures. For assessment of efficacy, Oxford Hip Score (OHS) and Short Form-36 (SF-36) scores were compared preoperatively and postoperatively.

Results: 138 patients with median age 62 years (range 35–82 years) were included with a median followup of 42 months (range 30–56 months). The minimum followup was 2.5 years. The OHS, SF-36 (physical and mental component) scores improved by a mean score of 26, 28, and 27 points, respectively. All patients had LLD of (1.9 mm ± 1.3). Adverse events included intraoperative neck fracture (n = 6), subsidence (n = 1), periprosthetic fracture (n = 1), paresthesia (n = 12), and trochanteric bursitis (n = 2). After early modification of the technique to use a smaller finishing broach, the CUSUM test demonstrated acceptable intraoperative neck fracture risk. The second surgery group had a reduced risk of intraoperative neck fracture (5/69 vs. 1/69 P = 0.2), reduced operative time (66 vs. 61 min, P = 0.06), and increased stem size (5 vs. 6, P = 0.09) although these differences were not statistically significant.

Conclusions: The MiniHip stem is safe alternative to standard THR with good functional outcomes but with a learning curve for the surgical technique, implants sizing, and the risk of intraoperative neck fractures.


anterior, learning curve, osteoarthritis, short neck-preserving stem, total hip replacement

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