Mixed ceramic combinations in primary total hip arthroplasty achieved reassuring mid-to-longterm outcomes

Francesco Castagnini, Barbara Bordini, Federico Biondi, Monica Cosentino, Susanna Stea, Francesco Traina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


INTRODUCTION: Ceramic-on-ceramic couplings demonstrated to be reliable bearings in primary total hip arthroplasty (THA), with long-term remarkable results. Like-on-like configurations were widely described. On the contrary, mixed material combinations from the same manufacturer, Delta-on-Forte or Forte-on-Delta, were poorly studied. In particular, it is unknown whether mixed ceramic combinations are more at risk of ceramic fractures. Thus, a registry study was conducted to investigate the long-term survival rates and reasons for revision of mixed ceramic combinations. A comparison with Delta-on-Delta couplings was also performed.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: The regional arthroplasty registry RIPO was enquired about three cohorts of ceramic bearings (head-on-liner: Delta-on-Forte, Forte-on-Delta, Delta-on-Delta). Demographics, survival rates and reasons for revision were evaluated and compared.

RESULTS: In total, 346 (1.5%) implants had a Delta-on-Forte coupling (mean follow-up: 6.4 years). In total, 1163 (5%) THAs had a Forte-on-Delta articulation (mean follow-up: 8.2 years). Delta-on-Delta surfaces were implanted in 21,874 (93.5%) hips (mean follow-up: 3.9 years). Mixed material combinations were implanted between 2003 and 2007. The survival rates of the three cohorts were similar and were higher than 95% at 10 years. In Forte-on-Delta group, four liners failed (0.3% of the implants), whereas ceramic fractures occurred in 15 cases (0.1%) in Delta-on-Delta couplings (3 heads and 12 liners). Considering ceramic fracture as endpoint, there was no significant difference between the three survival rates.

CONCLUSIONS: Mixed ceramic bearing configurations from the same manufacturer in primary THA showed mid-to-longterm dependable outcomes, not inferior to the most recent like-on-like ceramic bearings. No additional risks of ceramic fractures were evident. Thus, closer follow-ups are not required.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Materials Science: Materials in Medicine
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jun 27 2020


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