Short Stems Versus Conventional Stems in Cementless Total Hip Arthroplasty: A Long-Term Registry Study

Federico Giardina, Francesco Castagnini, Susanna Stea, Barbara Bordini, Maurizio Montalti, Aldo Toni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Short stems in total hip arthroplasty (THA) have recently gained increasing popularity, allowing mini-invasive exposures and bone-sparing approaches. However, long-term studies and recommendations for the routine use are not available. The aim of this report was to compare the survival rates and the reasons for revision of short stems versus conventional stems in cementless THAs, in a registry-based population. Methods: The Registry of Prosthetic Orthopedic Implants (RIPO) was inquired about cementless THAs performed since 2000 to 2016. The stems were divided into short (<12 cm) and conventional ones, and then, classified according to the classification by Feyen and Shimmin: short stems with neck-retaining osteotomy (group A: 1684 hips), short stems with standard osteotomy (group B: 2727 THAs), and conventional stems (group C: 57,359 cases). Demographics, survivorships, and reasons for revision were investigated and compared. Results: Short stems were preferentially implanted in younger patients and normal morphologies. Short and conventional stems showed comparable survival rates at long-term follow-up (>90% at 15 years). The rates of stem aseptic loosening, intraoperative fractures, and periprosthetic fractures were similar in the 3 groups. Group B had higher rates of revisions due to primary instability (early dislocations and impingement-related events; P < .05). Revisions due to pain were nonsignificantly higher in group B. Conclusion: Short stems are reliable implants at long-term follow-up. The comparison with conventional stems showed no additional risk of premature aseptic loosening and intraoperative and periprosthetic fractures. However, the high rate of revisions due to pain and, mostly, primary instability should be investigated in clinical trials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1794-1799
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Arthroplasty
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018


  • Aseptic loosening
  • Instability
  • Metaphyseal engaging
  • Neck retaining
  • Short stem
  • Young

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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