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Do Tantalum and Titanium Cups Show Similar Results in Revision Hip Arthroplasty?

  • Symposium: Papers Presented at the Hip Society Meetings 2009
  • Published:
Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research®


Porous surfaces are intended to enhance osteointegration of cementless implants. Tantalum has been introduced in an effort to enhance osseointegration potential of uncemented components. We therefore compared the clinical outcome of acetabular components with two different porous surfaces. We retrospectively reviewed 283 patients (295 hips) who underwent cementless revision hip arthroplasty with either an HA-coated titanium cup (207 patients, 214 hips) or porous tantalum cup (79 patients, 81 hips). The minimum followup was 24 months in both groups (titanium: average 51.8 months, range, 24–98 months; tantalum: average, 35.4 months, range, 24–63 months). The titanium and tantalum groups had a mechanical failure rate (clinical plus radiographic) of 8% and 6%, respectively. In hips with minor bone deficiency (type 1, 2A, 2B using the classification of Paprosky et al.), 6% of titanium cups and 4% of tantalum cups failed. In hips with major bone deficiency (type 2C, 3), 24% of titanium cups and 12% of tantalum cups developed failure. In the major bone deficiency group, the tantalum cups had fewer numbers of lucent zones around the cup. Eighty-two percent of titanium cups that failed did so at 6 months postoperatively or later, whereas 80% of tantalum cups that failed did so in less than 6 months. Radiographically in the major group, tantalum cups yielded better fixation.

Level of Evidence: Level III, retrospective comparative study. See the Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

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Correspondence to William J. Hozack MD.

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Each author certifies that he or she has no commercial associations (eg, consultancies, stock ownership, equity interest, patent/licensing arrangements, etc) that might pose a conflict of interest in connection with the submitted article. Drs. Sharkey and Parvizi are consultant surgeons of Stryker Orthopaedics.

Each author certifies that his or her institution has approved the human protocol for this investigation and that all investigations were conducted in conformity with ethical principles of research, and that informed consent for participation in the study was obtained.

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Jafari, S.M., Bender, B., Coyle, C. et al. Do Tantalum and Titanium Cups Show Similar Results in Revision Hip Arthroplasty?. Clin Orthop Relat Res 468, 459–465 (2010).

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