Revision Risk After Unipolar or Bipolar Hemiarthroplasty for Femoral Neck Fractures: An Instrumental Variable Analysis of 62,875 Procedures from the Australian Orthopaedic Association National Joint Replacement Registry.
There remains much international practice variation regarding the choice of a unipolar or bipolar prosthesis design for displaced femoral neck fractures that are treated with hemiarthroplasty. The purpose of the present study was to compare revision rates following primary hemiarthroplasty for femoral neck fracture to determine if the unipolar hemiarthroplasty design increases the risk of revision arthroplasty for all causes.Instrumental variable analysis was performed with use of data that had been entered into the Australian Orthopaedic Association National Joint Replacement Registry from September 1, 1999, to December 31, 2018. Sixty-two thousand, eight hundred and seventy-five patients with femoral neck fractures that were treated with primary modular unipolar or bipolar hemiarthroplasty procedure were analyzed. Hospital preference for prosthesis design in the 12 months prior to the index procedure was used as an instrument to adjust for unmeasured confounding. The primary outcome was time to first revision for any cause. Secondary analyses were performed on the reason for revision (infection, dislocation, periprosthetic fracture, or acetabular erosion), the use of cement femoral stem fixation, and the type of stem (polished or matte).Modular unipolar hemiarthroplasty was associated with a higher rate of revision at >2.5 years (hazard ratio [HR], 1.86; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.46 to 2.36; p < 0.001), but there was no difference between the groups before 2.5 years (HR, 0.98; 95% CI, 0.85 to 1.13; p = 0.79). Protective factors for revision included female sex (HR, 0.82; 95% CI, 0.74 to 0.9), use of cemented fixation (HR, 0.69; 95% CI, 0.62 to 0.77), and surgery performed in a public hospital setting (HR 0.79; 95% CI, 0.70 to 0.89). Modular unipolar prostheses had a greater risk of revision for acetabular erosion, particularly in later time periods (HR at ≥5.5 years, 5.10; 95% CI, 2.40 to 10.83; p < 0.001), while being protective against periprosthetic fractures (HR, 0.72; 95% CI, 0.59 to 0.87; p < 0.001) at all time points. There was no difference in terms of the risk of revision for infection, dislocation, or stem type.Bipolar hemiarthroplasty designs resulted in a lower risk of revision than unipolar designs. Unipolar hemiarthroplasties are justified for patients with femoral neck fracture and a shorter life expectancy (≤2.5 years).Therapeutic Level III. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.