Excessive Anteversion Leads to Failure at 3 Years Due to Impingement as Evidenced by Twin Notches in Ti6A4V Stem

  • Thomas Donaldson Donaldson Arthritis Research Foundation
  • Michelle Burgett-Moreno Donaldson Arthritis Research Foundation
  • Ian Clarke
Keywords: S-ROM, metal-on-metal, impingement, notches, total hip


A 63-year old female with bilateral hip replacements was referred to our clinic for pain and elevated metal ions. Her left hip had been revised earlier. The right hip had an SROM Ti6Al4V stem implanted with a 28mm head, a 28mm CoCr liner and Pinnacle Ti6Al4V shell. The patient reported pain, numbness, tingling, and repeated clicking and popping sensations with gait. She specifically noted that her hip would freeze while walking and could pop rising from a chair. Repeated metal ion levels showed Co (blood)17ppb, Cr (serum) 21ppb, and Ti (blood) at 69ppb. CT-images of right hip revealed femoral stem anteversion was 43° and cup anteversion was 40°, for a combined anteversion of 83°. The right hip was revised 3.5 years postoperatively for persistent pain and elevated metal ions. At surgery, large twin notches were evident on her posterior femoral neck and 10mm-wide scalloped damage was evident in the rim of the Ti6A4V shell. SEM-imaging revealed contaminating layers on CoCr head containing elements Al, V and Ti. These indicated that titanium-alloy particles liberated by cup-to-neck impingements had transferred to the CoCr bearings. Our intent in this case was not to document that a MOM bearing produced impingement damage, because this case clearly implicated adverse surgical positioning. Rather, the intent was to document sequelae likely in a THA case that has a metal cup impinging on a metal femoral neck. In particular, twin notches on the femoral neck indicated that this patient was routinely impinging her Ti6Al4V shell against the Ti6Al4V neck and also subluxing her femoral head out of the cup. These signs are a clear indication that one or both components must be revised, as opposed to simply replacing the CoCr liner with a revision polyethylene liner.

Author Biography

Thomas Donaldson, Donaldson Arthritis Research Foundation


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How to Cite
Donaldson, T., Burgett-Moreno, M., & Clarke, I. (2015). Excessive Anteversion Leads to Failure at 3 Years Due to Impingement as Evidenced by Twin Notches in Ti6A4V Stem. Reconstructive Review, 5(2). https://doi.org/10.15438/rr.5.2.110
Case Report