Background: To compare the degree of stem subsidence between two different femoral component designs and to determine the risk factors associated with stem subsidence after cementless total hip arthroplasty (THA) in Dorr type C femurs. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed 104 consecutive hips in 100 patients with Dorr type C proximal femoral morphology who underwent primary cementless THA using a fit-and-fill stem or a tapered wedge femoral stem at our institution between January 2012 and June 2021. A fit-and-fill stem was used in 55 hips and a tapered wedge stem was used in 49 hips. Radiologically, the distance between the apex of the major trochanter and the stem shoulder were measured at three different time points (immediately [0W], one week [1W], and six weeks [6W] after surgery) and the degrees of stem subsidence were assessed by comparing the distance between 0 and 1W, 1W and 6W, and 0W and 6W, respectively. Results: The mean degree of stem subsidence (0W vs. 1W) was 0.24 mm (standard deviation [SD] 0.36) in the fit-and-fill stem group, and 0.23 mm (SD 0.41) in the tapered wedge stem group. There was no significant difference between the two groups (P = 0.4862). However, the mean degrees of subsidence were significantly higher in the fit-and-fill stem group (1W vs. 6W, 0.38 mm [SD 0.68]; 0W vs. 6W, 0.65 mm [SD 0.87]) than in the tapered wedge stem group (1W vs. 6W, 0.16 mm [SD 0.32]; 0W vs. 6W, 0.24 mm [SD 0.38]) (P < 0.05 for both). In addition, the rates of > 3 mm subsidence (in which instability can be observed) were 18.2% (10 of 55 hips) and 2.0% (1 of 49 hips), respectively. There was also a significant difference between the two stems (P = 0.0091). Multivariate analysis demonstrated that fit-and-fill stem was a risk factor for > 3 mm subsidence after THA in Dorr type C femurs (P = 0.0050). Conclusion: Our findings suggest that the tapered wedge stem is more suitable for Dorr type C femurs than the fit-and-fill stem to avoid early postoperative subsidence in cementless THA.
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