Background: Massive deficiency of acetabular bone stock is a challenging problem in the increasing number of patients who need a revision of a failed hip arthroplasty. The bilobed cup has been presented as one alternative reconstruction technique for hips with extensive acetabular bone loss. The purpose of this study was to assess the results with use of a bilobed acetabular component inserted without cement for revision reconstruction in hips with acetabular bone deficiency in order to clarify the indications for its use and to identify the factors that influence the clinical and radiographic outcome.
Methods: Forty-one hips in thirty-eight patients had an acetabular revision with a bilobed acetabular component inserted without cement between December 1991 and December 1995. These hips were a subset of the 414 hips treated with an acetabular revision during the same period of time. One patient was lost to follow-up, and one died during the study period. Two patients who could not return for radiographic evaluation completed questionnaires. The remaining thirty-four patients (thirty-seven hips) were evaluated radiographically and clinically and were followed for an average of forty-one months (range, twenty-four to sixty-six months).
Results: Radiographic analysis demonstrated an improvement in the average vertical displacement of the hip center. At the time of the latest follow-up examination, 76 percent (twenty-eight) of the thirty-seven cups were stable, 8 percent (three) were probably unstable with a change in the screw position but no definite migration of the cup, and 16 percent (six) were unstable. Eight of the nine loose or probably loose components were in patients who had more than two centimeters of superior migration of the component and disruption of Kohler's line on preoperative radiographs. Additionally, implants were more likely to become unstable (demonstrating more than 4 degrees of change in the abduction angle or more than four millimeters of radiographic migration) when the inferior aspect of the component did not extend to or distal to the interteardrop line, which indicated that the component was undersized.
Conclusions: On the basis of our early rate of probable or definite loosening of 24 percent (nine of thirty-seven cups) and the technical difficulties involved, we do not recommend the routine use of this component. We believe that this device is indicated when a patient has an oblong-shaped acetabular defect and the surgeon wants to correct an elevated hip center. However, the medial wall of the acetabulum (Kohler's line) should be intact if the failed component has migrated more than two centimeters. An alternative reconstruction technique, such as use of a structural allograft with or without an acetabular cage, is also an option in this situation.