Complications related to the neck-stem junction of modular stems used for total hip arthroplasty (THA) are generating increasing concern. A 74-year-old male had increasing pain and a cutaneous reaction around the scar 1 year after THA with a modular neck-stem. Imaging revealed osteolysis of the calcar and a pseudo-tumour adjacent to the neck-stem junction. Serum cobalt levels were elevated. Revision surgery to exchange the stem and liner and to resect the pseudo-tumour was performed. Analysis of the stem by scanning electron microscopy and by energy dispersive X-ray and white light interferometry showed fretting corrosion at the neck-stem junction contrasting with minimal changes at the head-neck junction. Thus, despite dry assembly of the neck and stem on the back table at primary THA, full neck-stem contact was not achieved, and the resulting micromotion at the interface led to fretting corrosion. This case highlights the mechanism of fretting corrosion at the neck-stem interface responsible for adverse local tissue reactions. Clinical and radiological follow-up is mandatory in patients with dual-modular stems.Le texte complet de cet article est disponible en PDF.
Keywords : Total hip arthroplasty, Corrosion, Modular stem, Pseudo-tumour, Adverse reaction to metal debris, Aseptic lymphocytic vasculitis and associated lesions