Is there a significant decrease in the femoral cortical bone around Furlong® stems after 18 years of follow-up?

  • Enric Cruz
  • Luis NateraEmail author
  • Montserrat Mitjans
  • Carlos Antón
  • Emili Cañete
  • Eva Cases
Original Article • HIP - ARTHROPLASTY



In the context of total hip arthroplasty (THA), there are several reasons that have motivated the development of short stems. It has been postulated that short stems allow a better conservation of the bone stock if compared to conventional stems. As far as we have knowledge, the quantitative loss of diaphyseal bone stock in patients with standard femoral stems has not been fully described.

The aim of this study was to provide evidences about the thickness of the cortical bone at the diaphysis in patients who have undergone unilateral THA with Furlong® stems with a minimum follow-up of 18 years.

Patients and methods

A retrospective study of patients who underwent THA in a single hospital was performed. The inclusion criteria were patients who had undergone a non-cemented elective THA with a Furlong® stem, minimum follow-up of 18 years, and contralateral femur and hip without history of previous surgical procedures. The follow-up analysis was performed by means of radiological examinations performed at the last follow-up visit. Data related to the sex, age at surgery and adverse events registered during the follow-up were gathered. The cortical thickness index (CTI) and cortical thickness (CT) assessed at the last follow-up visit in anteroposterior pelvic X-rays were analyzed, both in the operated hip and in the non-operated hip (which was used as control). Calibration of the measurements was done by means of using the circumference of the head of the THA.


The total number of patients who met the inclusion criteria was 22. There were 14 women and eight men. There were 12 left hips. The mean age at the time of surgery was 59.32 ± 6.83 (range 50–70) years. The mean follow-up was 20.86 ± 1.90 (range 18–24) years. The CTI was found to be 11.93% greater in the non-operated hips. The CT measured at 3 cm and 6 cm from lesser trochanter, and at 9 cm from the greater trochanter, was found to be 21.64%, 15.33% and 18.73% greater in the non-operated hips, respectively.


After a minimum of 18 years from the implantation of a Furlong® stem, the bone density that surrounds the implant seems to involve a cortical bone ten percent less thick than the cortical bone of the non-operated contralateral side. With this stem, the cortical zones with less CT seem to be the lateral cortex at 9 cm from the greater trochanter, and the medial cortex at 3 and 6 cm from the lesser trochanter.

Level of evidence

III, retrospective case–control study.


Cortical thickness index Cortical thickness Total hip arthroplasty Bone quality Stress shielding 



Authors would like to thank the Epidemiology Department of Hospital General de Granollers for their collaboration in the statistical calculations done in this study.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

None of the authors have any conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag France SAS, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Hospital General de GranollersGranollersSpain

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