Original Paper

International Orthopaedics

, Volume 36, Issue 3, pp 533-538

First online:

Bone remodelling around the Metha short stem in total hip arthroplasty: a prospective dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry study

  • Matthias LerchAffiliated withDepartment of Orthopaedic Surgery, Hannover Medical School Email author 
  • , Annelene von der Haar-TranAffiliated withDepartment of Orthopaedic Surgery, Hannover Medical School
  • , Henning WindhagenAffiliated withDepartment of Orthopaedic Surgery, Hannover Medical School
  • , Bernd A. BehrensAffiliated withInstitute of Metal Forming and Metal Forming Machines, Leibnitz University Hannover
  • , Patrick WefstaedtAffiliated withSmall Animal Clinic, University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Foundation
  • , Christina M. Stukenborg-ColsmanAffiliated withDepartment of Orthopaedic Surgery, Hannover Medical School

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On the basis of positive clinical results with mid- and long-term follow-up using the Mayo short stem, the Metha neck-preserving stem (BBraun, Aesculap, Tuttlingen, Germany) was introduced. The purpose of this study was to validate the implant design by direct acquisition of bone remodelling data from total hip arthroplasty (THA) recipients using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA).


After power analysis, 25 patients were included in this prospective study. Patients were examined clinically and underwent DEXA examinations preoperatively and postoperatively at one week, six months and one and two years after THA. Gruen zones were adapted to the short stem design (R1–R7).


The Harris Hip Score (HHS) increased significantly by 31 points. No stem had to be revised. Bone mineral density (BMD) in the greater trochanter decreased significantly from 0.78 g/cm2 postoperatively to 0.72 g/cm2 two years after surgery. Marginal changes were seen in the lateral distal regions (R4–R5). In the minor trochanter region, BMD increased significantly after two years by 12.9%. In the calcar region, BMD exceeded the baseline value by 6.1% two years after implantation.


Stress shielding seems to occur at the greater trochanter due to the vast cross-section of the implant. However, the aim of proximal load transfer of the Metha stem seems to be partially achieved. DEXA analysis revealed a concentrated load distribution on the medial portion of the femur, which is an important region to guarantee long-term implant survival.