Scientific Articles   |    
Spontaneous Dissociation of Offset, Face-Changing Polyethylene Liners from the Acetabular ShellA Report of Four Cases
Chancellor F. Gray, MD1; Ryan E. Moore, MD, PhD1; Gwo-Chin Lee, MD1
1 Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, 2 Silverstein Building, 3400 Spruce Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104. E-mail address for G. Lee: gwo-chin.lee@uphs.upenn.edu
View Disclosures and Other Information
  • Disclosure statement for author(s): PDF

Investigation performed at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Disclosure: None of the authors received payments or services, either directly or indirectly (i.e., via his or her institution), from a third party in support of any aspect of this work. None of the authors, or their institution(s), have had any financial relationship, in the thirty-six months prior to submission of this work, with any entity in the biomedical arena that could be perceived to influence or have the potential to influence what is written in this work. Also, no author has had any other relationships, or has engaged in any other activities, that could be perceived to influence or have the potential to influence what is written in this work. The complete Disclosures of Potential Conflicts of Interest submitted by authors are always provided with the online version of the article.

Copyright © 2012 by The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc.
J Bone Joint Surg Am, 2012 May 02;94(9):841-845. doi: 10.2106/JBJS.K.00506
5 Recommendations (Recommend) | 3 Comments | Saved by 3 Users Save Case



Dissociation of the polyethylene liner from the acetabular shell is an uncommon event. Offset, face-changing polyethylene liners theoretically increase femoral head coverage, allow for larger heads with smaller cup diameters, and offer improved stability without risk of impingement. However, we present four cases of liner dissociations from the acetabular shell that necessitated revision hip surgery.


Four patients with spontaneous dissociations of offset, face-changing polyethylene acetabular liners underwent revision hip arthroplasty between January 2007 and June 2010. All patients were women with an average age of fifty-three years. All cases involved the combination of a Pinnacle acetabular component with an offset, face-changing polyethylene liner. We reviewed the presenting signs and symptoms associated with liner dissociations and analyzed the radiographs for the acetabular component position.


All cases of liner dissociation occurred without direct trauma and were associated with squeaking sounds reported by the patient. The average cup abduction angle was 55° (range, 51° to 60°) and the average anteversion was 21.5° (range, 17° to 24°). Examination of the dissociated liners at the time of revision surgery revealed plastic deformation of the polyethylene liner rim posterosuperiorly at the eleven o’clock position on the right hip and the one o’clock position on the left hip.


The combination of a vertically positioned acetabular component and an offset, face-changing liner resulted in impingement and dissociation of the liner from the shell in four patients. Proper acetabular component positioning, rather than the routine use of uniquely designed polyethylene liners, is critical to maximizing implant stability in total hip arthroplasty.

Level of Evidence: 

Therapeutic Level IV. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

Figures in this Article
    Sign In to Your Personal ProfileSign In To Access Full Content
    Not a Subscriber?
    Get online access for 30 days for $35
    New to JBJS?
    Sign up for a full subscription to both the print and online editions
    Register for a FREE limited account to get full access to all CME activities, to comment on public articles, or to sign up for alerts.
    Register for a FREE limited account to get full access to all CME activities
    Have a subscription to the print edition?
    Current subscribers to The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery in either the print or quarterly DVD formats receive free online access to JBJS.org.
    Forgot your password?
    Enter your username and email address. We'll send you a reminder to the email address on record.

    Forgot your username or need assistance? Please contact customer service at subs@jbjs.org. If your access is provided
    by your institution, please contact you librarian or administrator for username and password information. Institutional
    administrators, to reset your institution's master username or password, please contact subs@jbjs.org


    Accreditation Statement
    These activities have been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint sponsorship of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
    CME Activities Associated with This Article
    Submit a Comment
    Please read the other comments before you post yours. Contributors must reveal any conflict of interest.
    Comments are moderated and will appear on the site at the discretion of JBJS editorial staff.

    * = Required Field
    (if multiple authors, separate names by comma)
    Example: John Doe

    Related Content
    The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery
    JBJS Case Connector
    Related Audio and Videos
    PubMed Articles
    Clinical Trials
    Readers of This Also Read...
    JBJS Jobs
    LA - Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center-Shreveport
    CA - Mercy Medical Group
    WY - Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County
    MA - Boston Medical Center and Boston University School of Medicine