We reviewed the cases of thirty-six patients who had forty cemented
total hip replacements with the Harris metal-backed acetabular component.
The operations were done between 1972 and 1977, and the duration of
follow-up averaged 7.6 years (range, five to 10.8 years). The average age
of the patients was forty-four years (range, sixteen to sixty-two years).
Aseptic loosening of the acetabular component occurred in three hips (7.5
per cent), and three more sockets were revised for other reasons. Two of
the three sockets with aseptic loosening were in the fifteen patients
(seventeen hips) who were forty-five years old or younger. The remaining
loose cup was in one of the twenty-one patients (twenty-three hips) who
were forty-six years old or older. The reduction in the rate of aseptic
loosening of the socket in our series, compared with the higher rates
reported in similar long-term studies in which other acetabular components
were used, supports the conclusion that there is enhanced longevity of
acetabular fixation when a metal-backed acetabular component is used in
cemented total hip arthroplasty.