Delta-on-Delta Ceramic Bearing Surfaces in Revision Hip Arthroplasty

Francesco Castagnini, Barbara Bordini, Enrico Tassinari, Susanna Stea, Cristina Ancarani, Francesco Traina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Fourth-generation ceramic-on-ceramic couplings were developed to improve ceramic toughness and strength. Encouraging outcomes in primary total hip arthroplasty were reported. This coupling was proposed as an attractive option even in the case of revision procedures, particularly in younger patients with a longer life expectancy. However, the pertinent literature is scarce. Thus, a registry study was conducted to investigate the midterm survival rates and reasons for re-revision of the fourth-generation ceramic-on-ceramic bearing surfaces in revision hip arthroplasties.

METHODS: A total of 327 revision implants (all the components were exchanged) with BIOLOX Delta couplings were investigated using the regional orthopedic registry RIPO. The demographics, the survival rates, and the reasons for re-revision were assessed. Revisions with bearings other than Delta were compared.

RESULTS: Delta bearings achieved a survival rate of 90.5% at 7 years, with stable results. Twenty-six (8%) re-revisions occurred at a mean follow-up of 4.1 years. And 2.8% of the re-revisions were due to recurrent dislocations; 1.5% of the cases were due to cup aseptic loosening. Septic loosening occurred in 1.6% of the cases. No ceramic fractures were reported. When compared to revisions with bearings other than Delta-on-Delta, Delta coupling cohort achieved similar performances at 5 and 7 years. Lower, nonsignificant rates of aseptic and septic loosening were reported in Delta cohort.

CONCLUSION: Delta-on-Delta couplings demonstrated to be reliable bearing surfaces in revision settings at a midterm follow-up. Clinical studies and longer follow-ups are required to investigate potential adverse effects, like squeaking and fractures, and confirm these preliminary findings.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Level III, therapeutic study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2065-2071
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Arthroplasty
Issue number9
Early online dateMay 10 2019
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2019


  • coupling
  • fourth generation
  • fracture
  • hip arthroplasty
  • loosening
  • zirconia-toughened alumina


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