Long Term Survivorship of a Severely Notched Femoral Stem after Replacing the Fractured Ceramic head with a Cobalt-Chromium Head

The Open Orthopaedics Journal 30 December 2016 LETTER DOI: 10.2174/1874325001610010779



Although ceramic head fracture occurs infrequently today, in the event of a fracture, the resulting revision surgery can prove very challenging, since the ceramic particles lodge into the surrounding soft tissue and can cause rapid implant failure

Case Presentation:

A case of long term survivorship of a severed notched femoral stem after replacing the fractured femoral head with a cobalt-chromium one is reported in a 40-year old woman with hip dysplasia who underwent an uncomplicated total hip arthroplasty. The incident of ceramic femoral head fracture occurred 14 months postoperatively without reporting any significant trauma. Intraoperative findings at revision were a multifragmented femoral head and a damaged polyethylene insert along with diffuse metallosis and excessive wear of the cone of the stem. Both the stem and the acetabular component were stable. After removal of ceramic fragments, metallotic tissue excision and careful lavage of the joint, the inlay was replaced by a similar one and a cobalt-chromium femoral head was placed to the existing notched taper of the firmly incorporated stem. At the 13th year follow up examination, the patient had no pain, used no walking aids, and had normal activity with no signs of wearing or loosening in the plain x-rays.


Despite current recommendations of using ceramic femoral heads in cases of fracture or to revise the severely damaged stems we were able to provide a long term survivorship up to 13 years postoperatively of a cobalt-chromium femoral head applied to a severe damaged stem.

Keywords: Ceramic Head Fracture, Hip Arthroplasty, Long Term Survivorship, Metallic Head, Notched Stem, Revision Surgery.
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