Early results of a novel technique using multiple small tantalum pegs for the treatment of osteonecrosis of the femoral head A CASE SERIES INVOLVING 26 HIPS
The introduction of a trabecular tantalum rod has been proposed for the management of early-stage osteonecrosis of the femoral head but serves as a single-point of support of the necrotic lesion. We describe a technique using two or three 4.2 mm (or later 4.7 mm) tantalum pegs for the prevention of collapse of the necrotic lesion. We prospectively studied 21 patients (26 hips) with non-traumatic osteonecrosis of the femoral head treated in this manner. Of these, 21 patients (24 hips) were available for radiological and clinical evaluation at a mean follow-up of 46 months (18 to 67). Radiological assessment showed that only eight hips deteriorated according to the Association Research Circulation Osseous classification, and four hips according to the Classification of the Japanese Investigation Committee of Health and Welfare. Functional improvement was obtained with an improvement in the mean Harris hip score from 65.2 (33.67 to 95) to 88.1 (51.72 to 100), the mean Merle D'Aubigne-Postel score from 13 (6 to 18) to 16 (11 to 18), a mean visual analogue score for pain from 5.2 (0 to 9.5) to 2.6 (0 to 7), and the mean Short-Form 36 score from 80.4 (56.8 to 107.1) to 92.4 (67.5 to 115.7). Of these 24 hips followed for a minimum of 18 months, three were considered as failures at the final follow-up, having required total hip replacement. One of the hips without full follow-up was also considered to be a failure. In more than two-thirds of the surviving hips a satisfactory clinical outcome was achieved with promising radiological findings. The estimated mean implant survival was 60 months (95% confidence interval 53.7 to 66.3).