Introduction The uncemented total hip arthroplasty relies on a secure initial fixation of the femoral stem to achieve osseointegration. Undersizing of the femoral implant compromises this. Surgeons routinely review postoperative radiographs to assess appropriate sizing, but existing methods of assessment lack standardisation. We present a system of accurately and reliably classifying radiological undersizing, which will help us better understand the factors that might have led to undersizing. Aim To describe and evaluate a classification system for assessing radiological undersizing of the uncemented stem in hip arthroplasty. Method We conducted a retrospective review of 1,337 consecutive hip arthroplasties using the Corail stem. Two independent investigators reviewed post-operative radiographs and classified them as either appropriately sized or undersized. Undersized stems were sub-categorised into four subtypes: uniformly undersized, varus undersized, valgus undersized or ‘cocktail-glass’ undersized. Inter- and intra-observer agreement was determined. The accuracy of our classification system was validated by comparison with digital re-templating. We further assessed patient demographics and stem size in relation to sizing. Results 1 in 5 cases (19.75%) were deemed radiologically undersized. The commonest subtypes of undersizing were uniformly (47%) and varus (39%) undersized. When assessing sizing and subtype categorisation, inter-observer agreement was 89–92% and intra-observer agreement 86%. Classification decisions showed 92% and 97% accuracy for uniformly undersizing and varus undersizing respectively when validated against digital re-templating. Age, gender and smaller stem size were significantly associated with radiological undersizing. The Corail KLA model (125° neck) was found to have a higher incidence of stems undersized in varus. Conclusions This study describes and validates a classification system for the analysis of radiological undersizing.
Definition and validation of a system for classifying the undersized Corail femoral stem in total hip arthroplasty
About the Author: Merzesh Magra
Mr Merzesh Magra is an experienced Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon based in Lancaster specialising in hip and knee joint replacement surgery. He has 22 years of experience and is a results-oriented skilled surgeon and an ardent advocator of enhanced recovery principles.