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1.  Countrywise results of total hip replacement 
Acta Orthopaedica  2014;85(2):107-116.
Background and purpose
An earlier Nordic Arthroplasty Register Association (NARA) report on 280,201 total hip replacements (THRs) based on data from 1995–2006, from Sweden, Norway, and Denmark, was published in 2009. The present study assessed THR survival according to country, based on the NARA database with the Finnish data included.
Material and methods
438,733 THRs performed during the period 1995–2011 in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, and Finland were included. Kaplan-Meier survival analysis was used to calculate survival probabilities with 95% confidence interval (CI). Cox multiple regression, with adjustment for age, sex, and diagnosis, was used to analyze implant survival with revision for any reason as endpoint.
Results
The 15-year survival, with any revision as an endpoint, for all THRs was 86% (CI: 85.7–86.9) in Denmark, 88% (CI: 87.6–88.3) in Sweden, 87% (CI: 86.4–87.4) in Norway, and 84% (CI: 82.9–84.1) in Finland. Revision risk for all THRs was less in Sweden than in the 3 other countries during the first 5 years. However, revision risk for uncemented THR was less in Denmark than in Sweden during the sixth (HR = 0.53, CI: 0.34–0.82), seventh (HR = 0.60, CI: 0.37–0.97), and ninth (HR = 0.59, CI: 0.36–0.98) year of follow-up.
Interpretation
The differences in THR survival rates were considerable, with inferior results in Finland. Brand-level comparison of THRs in Nordic countries will be required.
doi:10.3109/17453674.2014.893498
PMCID: PMC3967250  PMID: 24650019
2.  Cancer incidence and cause-specific mortality in patients with metal-on-metal hip replacements in Finland 
Acta Orthopaedica  2014;85(1):32-38.
Background and purpose
Metal-on-metal hip implants have been widely used, especially in the USA, Australia, England and Wales, and Finland. We assessed risk of death and updated data on the risk of cancer related to metal-on-metal hip replacements.
Patients and methods
A cohort of 10,728 metal-on-metal hip replacement patients and a reference cohort of 18,235 conventional total hip replacement patients were extracted from the Finnish Arthroplasty Register for the years 2001–2010. Data on incident cancer cases and causes of death until 2011 were obtained from the Finnish Cancer Registry and Statistics Finland. The relative risk of cancer and death were expressed as standardized incidence ratio (SIR) and standardized mortality ratio (SMR). SIR/SIR ratios and SMR/SMR ratios, and Poisson regression were used to compare the cancer risk and the risk of death between cohorts.
Results
The overall risk of cancer in the metal-on-metal cohort was not higher than that in the non-metal-on-metal cohort (RR = 0.91, 95% CI: 0.82–1.02). The risk of soft-tissue sarcoma and basalioma in the metal-on-metal cohort was higher than in the non-metal-on-metal cohort (SIR/SIR ratio = 2.6, CI: 1.02–6.4 for soft-tissue sarcoma; SIR/SIR ratio = 1.3, CI: 1.1–1.5 for basalioma). The overall risk of death in the metal-on-metal cohort was less than that in the non-metal-on-metal cohort (RR = 0.78, CI: 0.69–0.88).
Interpretation
The overall risk of cancer or risk of death because of cancer is not increased after metal-on-metal hip replacement. The well-patient effect and selection bias contribute substantially to the findings concerning mortality. Arthrocobaltism does not increase mortality in patients with metal-on-metal hip implants in the short term. However, metal-on-metal hip implants should not be considered safe until data with longer follow-up time are available.
doi:10.3109/17453674.2013.878830
PMCID: PMC3940989  PMID: 24397743
3.  Effect of femoral head size on risk of revision for dislocation after total hip arthroplasty 
Acta Orthopaedica  2013;84(4):342-347.
Background and purpose
Previous population-based registry studies have shown that larger femoral head size is associated with reduced risk of revision for dislocation. However, the previous data have not included large numbers of hip resurfacing arthroplasties or large metal-on-metal (> 36-mm) femoral head arthroplasties. We evaluated the association between femoral component head size and the risk of revision for dislocation after THA by using Finnish Arthroplasty Register data.
Patients and methods
42,379 patients who were operated during 1996–2010 fulfilled our criteria. 18 different cup/stem combinations were included. The head-size groups studied (numbers of cases) were 28 mm (23,800), 32 mm (4,815), 36 mm (3,320), and > 36 mm (10,444). Other risk factors studied were sex, age group (18–49 years, 50–59 years, 60–69 years, 70–79 years, and > 80 years), and time period of operation (1996–2000, 2001–2005, 2006–2010).
Results
The adjusted risk ratio in the Cox model for a revision operation due to dislocation was 0.40 (95% CI: 0.26–0.62) for 32-mm head size, 0.41 (0.24–0.70) for 36-mm head size, and 0.09 (0.05–0.17) for > 36-mm head size compared to implants with a head size of 28 mm.
Interpretation
Larger femoral heads clearly reduce the risk of dislocation. The difference in using heads of > 36 mm as opposed to 28-mm heads for the overall revision rate at 10 years follow-up is about 2%. Thus, although attractive from a mechanical point of view, based on recent less favorable clinical outcome data on these large heads, consisting mainly of metal-on-metal prostheses, one should be cautious using these implants.
doi:10.3109/17453674.2013.810518
PMCID: PMC3768031  PMID: 23799348
4.  Incidence of osteotomies around the knee for the treatment of knee osteoarthritis: A 22-year population-based study 
International Orthopaedics  2012;36(7):1399-1402.
Purpose
Both tibial and femoral osteotomies have been used for the treatment of knee osteoarthritis (OA). Due to the clinical success of total knee arthroplasty (TKA) the current role and incidence of osteotomies remains unknown. The aim of this population-based study was to assess the incidence of osteotomies and compare it with that of knee arthroplasties.
Methods
From the Finnish National Hospital Discharge Register, we identified all patients, aged 18 years or more, who had undergone osteotomy for the treatment of knee OA between 1987 and 2008. The number of arthroplasties was extracted from the Arthroplasty Register.
Results
A total of 6,004 osteotomies were performed for 5,734 patients. The average osteotomy incidence has steadily decreased by 6.2%, and TKA incidence has increased by 9.8% annually. However, in patients aged less than 50 years the osteotomy incidence has increased by 1.4% annually. The decline of osteotomy incidence has been steeper in females than in males (9.0% vs. 3.6%), and during the last decade osteotomies were more commonly performed in male patients.
Conclusion
Incidence of osteotomies for the treatment of knee OA has decreased during last two decades. However, in patients aged less than 50 years the osteotomy incidence has slightly increased. In a comparison by gender, females are more likely to undergo arthoplasty than osteotomy, and it would therefore appear that the current use of osteotomies is predominantly reserved for the treatment of knee OA in relatively young males.
doi:10.1007/s00264-012-1508-7
PMCID: PMC3385883  PMID: 22354471
5.  Predictors of mortality following primary hip and knee replacement in the aged 
Acta Orthopaedica  2013;84(1):44-53.
Background and purpose
High age is associated with increased postoperative mortality, but the factors that predict mortality in older hip and knee replacement recipients are not known.
Methods
Preoperative clinical and operative data on 1,998 primary total hip and knee replacements performed for osteoarthritis in patients aged ≥ 75 years in a single institution were collected from a joint replacement database and compoared with mortality data. Average follow-up was 4.2 (2.2–7.6) years for the patients who survived. Factors associated with mortality were analyzed using Cox regression analysis, with adjustment for age, sex, operated joint, laterality, and anesthesiological risk score.
Results
Mortality was 0.15% at 30 days, 0.35% at 90 days, 1.60% at 1 year, 7.6% at 3 years, and 16% at 5 years, and was similar following hip and knee replacement. Higher age, male sex, American Society of Anesthesiologists risk score of > 2, use of walking aids, preoperative walking restriction (inability to walk or ability to walk indoors only, compared to ability to walk > 1 km), poor clinical condition preoperatively (based on clinical hip and knee scores or clinical severity of osteoarthritis), preoperative anemia, severe renal insufficiency, and use of blood transfusions were associated with higher mortality. High body mass index had a protective effect in patients after hip replacement.
Interpretation
Postoperative mortality is low in healthy old joint replacement recipients. Comorbidities and functional limitations preoperatively are associated with higher mortality and warrant careful consideration before proceeding with joint replacement surgery.
doi:10.3109/17453674.2012.752691
PMCID: PMC3584602  PMID: 23244785
6.  Increasing risk of prosthetic joint infection after total hip arthroplasty 
Acta Orthopaedica  2012;83(5):449-458.
Background and purpose
The risk of revision due to infection after primary total hip arthroplasty (THA) has been reported to be increasing in Norway. We investigated whether this increase is a common feature in the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden).
Materials and methods
The study was based on the Nordic Arthroplasty Register Association (NARA) dataset. 432,168 primary THAs from 1995 to 2009 were included (Denmark: 83,853, Finland 78,106, Norway 88,455, and Sweden 181,754). Adjusted survival analyses were performed using Cox regression models with revision due to infection as the endpoint. The effect of risk factors such as the year of surgery, age, sex, diagnosis, type of prosthesis, and fixation were assessed.
Results
2,778 (0.6%) of the primary THAs were revised due to infection. Compared to the period 1995–1999, the relative risk (with 95% CI) of revision due to infection was 1.1 (1.0–1.2) in 2000–2004 and 1.6 (1.4–1.7) in 2005–2009. Adjusted cumulative 5–year revision rates due to infection were 0.46% (0.42–0.50) in 1995–1999, 0.54% (0.50–0.58) in 2000–2004, and 0.71% (0.66–0.76) in 2005–2009. The entire increase in risk of revision due to infection was within 1 year of primary surgery, and most notably in the first 3 months. The risk of revision due to infection increased in all 4 countries. Risk factors for revision due to infection were male sex, hybrid fixation, cement without antibiotics, and THA performed due to inflammatory disease, hip fracture, or femoral head necrosis. None of these risk factors increased in incidence during the study period.
Interpretation
We found increased relative risk of revision and increased cumulative 5–year revision rates due to infection after primary THA during the period 1995–2009. No change in risk factors in the NARA dataset could explain this increase. We believe that there has been an actual increase in the incidence of prosthetic joint infections after THA.
doi:10.3109/17453674.2012.733918
PMCID: PMC3488170  PMID: 23083433
7.  Hip resurfacing arthroplasty: short-term survivorship of 4,401 hips from the Finnish Arthroplasty Register 
Acta Orthopaedica  2012;83(3):207-213.
Background and purpose
Population-based registry data from the Nordic Arthroplasty Register Association (NARA) and from the National Joint Register of England and Wales have revealed that the outcome after hip resurfacing arthroplasty (HRA) is inferior to that of conventional total hip arthroplasty (THA). We analyzed the short-term survival of 4,401 HRAs in the Finnish Arthroplasty Register.
Methods
We compared the revision risk of the 4,401 HRAs from the Register to that of 48,409 THAs performed during the same time period. The median follow-up time was 3.5 (0–9) years for HRAs and 3.9 (0–9) years for THAs.
Results
There was no statistically significant difference in revision risk between HRAs and THAs (RR = 0.93, 95% CI: 0.78–1.10). Female patients had about double the revision risk of male patients (RR = 2.0, CI: 1.4–2.7). Hospitals that had performed 100 or more HRA procedures had a lower revision risk than those with less than 100 HRAs (RR = 0.6, CI: 0.4–0.9). Articular Surface Replacement (ASR, DePuy) had inferior outcome with higher revision risk than the Birmingham Hip Resurfacing implant (BHR, Smith & Nephew), the reference implant (RR = 1.8, CI: 1.2–2.7).
Interpretation
We found that HRA had comparable short-term survivorship to THA at a nationwide level. Implant design had an influence on revision rates. ASR had higher revision risk. Low hospital procedure volume worsened the outcome of HRA. Female patients had twice the revision risk of male patients.
doi:10.3109/17453674.2012.693016
PMCID: PMC3369143  PMID: 22616745
8.  Results of 3,668 primary total hip replacements for primary osteoarthritis in patients under the age of 55 years 
Acta Orthopaedica  2011;82(5):521-529.
Background and purpose
In a previous study based on the Finnish Arthroplasty Register, the survival of cementless stems was better than that of cemented stems in younger patients. However, the survival of cementless cups was poor due to osteolysis. In the present study, we analyzed population-based survival rates of the cemented and cementless total hip replacements in patients under the age of 55 years with primary osteoarthritis in Finland.
Patients and methods
3,668 implants fulfilled our inclusion criteria. The previous data included years 1980–2001, whereas the current study includes years 1987–2006. The implants were classified in 3 groups: (1) implants with a cementless, straight, proximally circumferentially porous-coated stem and a porous-coated press-fit cup (cementless group 1); (2) implants with a cementless, anatomic, proximally circumferentially porous-coated stem, with or without hydroxyapatite, and a porous-coated press-fit cup with or without hydroxyapatite (cementless group 2); and (3) a cemented stem combined with a cemented all-polyethylene cup (the cemented group). Analyses were performed separately for 2 time periods: those operated 1987–1996 and those operated 1997–2006.
Results
The 15-year survival for any reason of cementless total hip replacement (THR) group 1 operated on 1987–1996 (62%; 95% CI: 57–67) and cementless group 2 (58%; CI: 52–66) operated on during the same time period was worse than that of cemented THRs (71%; CI: 62–80), although the difference was not statistically significant. The revision risk for aseptic loosening of cementless stem group 1 operated on 1987–1996 (0.49; CI: 0.32–0.74) was lower than that for aseptic loosening of cemented stems (p = 0.001).
Interpretation
Excessive wear of the polyethylene liner resulted in numerous revisions of modular cementless cups. The outcomes of total hip arthroplasty appear to have been relatively unsatisfactory for younger patients in Finland.
doi:10.3109/17453674.2011.618908
PMCID: PMC3242947  PMID: 21992084
9.  Cementless total hip arthroplasty for primary osteoarthritis in patients aged 55 years and older 
Acta Orthopaedica  2010;81(1):42-52.
Background
Cemented total hip arthroplasty has been the treatment of choice for elderly patients with osteoarthritis. We analyzed survival rates of the most common cementless designs used in this age group in Finland.
Patients and methods
Inclusion criteria permitted 10,310 replacements (8 designs) performed in patients aged 55 years or older to be selected for evaluation. The risk of revision of each of the 8 implants was compared with that of a group comprising 3 cemented designs as the reference (9,549 replacements). Survival analyses were performed overall and separately for 3 age cohorts: 55–64 years (6,781 replacements), 65–74 years (8,821 replacements), and 75 years or older (4,257 replacements).
Results
In all patients aged 55 years or more, the Bi-Metric stem had a higher survival rate for aseptic loosening at 15 years than the cemented reference group: 96% (95% CI: 94–98) vs. 91% (CI: 90–92). However, the 15-year survival rates of the Bi-Metric/Press-Fit Universal (71% (CI: 67–75)) and the Anatomic Mesh/Harris-Galante II (72% (CI: 67–78)) total hip replacements were lower than that of the reference group (86% (CI: 84–87)). Information was scarce for patients aged 75 years or more.
Interpretation
Cementless proximal porous-coated stems are a good option for elderly patients. Even though biological fixation is a reliable fixation method in THA, polyethylene wear and osteolysis remain a serious problem for cementless cup designs with unplugged screw holes and low-quality liners.
doi:10.3109/17453671003635900
PMCID: PMC2856203  PMID: 20180718
10.  Total ankle replacement: a population-based study of 515 cases from the Finnish Arthroplasty Register 
Acta Orthopaedica  2010;81(1):114-118.
Background and purpose
Although total ankle replacement (TAR) is a recognized procedure for treatment of the painful arthritic ankle, the best choice of implant and the long-term results are still unknown. We evaluated the survival of two TAR designs and factors associated with survival using data from the nationwide arthroplasty registry in Finland.
Methods
573 primary TARs were performed during the period 1982–2006 because of rheumatic, arthritic, or posttraumatic ankle degeneration. We selected contemporary TAR designs that were each used in more than 40 operations, including the S.T.A.R. (n = 217) and AES (n = 298), to assess their respective survival rates. The mean age of the patients was 55 (17–86) years and 63% of operations were performed in women. Kaplan-Meier analysis and the Cox regression model were used for survival analysis. The effects of age, sex, diagnosis, and hospital volume were also studied.
Results
The annual incidence of TAR was 1.5 per 105 inhabitants. The 5-year overall survivorship for the whole TAR cohort was 83% (95% CI: 81–86), which agrees with earlier reports. The most frequent reasons for revision were aseptic loosening of one or both of the prosthesis components (39%) and instability (39%). We found no difference in survival rate between the S.T.A.R. and AES designs. Furthermore, age, sex, diagnosis, and hospital volume (< 10 and > 100 replacements in each of 17 hospitals) did not affect the TAR survival.
Interpretation
Based on our findings, we cannot conclude that any prosthesis was superior to any other. A high number of technical errors in primary TARs suggests that this low-volume field of implant arthroplasty should be centralized to fewer units.
doi:10.3109/17453671003685459
PMCID: PMC2856214  PMID: 20180720
11.  Total elbow arthroplasty in rheumatoid arthritis 
Acta Orthopaedica  2009;80(4):472-477.
Background and purpose Although total elbow arthroplasty (TEA) is a recognized procedure for the treatment of the painful arthritic elbow, the choice of implant is still obscure. We evaluated the survival of different TEA designs and factors associated with survival using data from a nationwide arthroplasty register.
Methods 1,457 primary TEAs for rheumatoid elbow destruction were performed during 1982 to 2006 in one hospital specialized in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (n = 776) and in 19 other hospitals (n = 681). The mean age of the patients was 59 years and 87% of the TEAs were performed in women. We selected different contemporary TEA designs, each used in more than 40 operations including the Souter-Strathclyde (n = 912), i.B.P./Kudo (n = 218), Coonrad-Morrey (n = 164), and NESimplavit/Norway (n = 63) to assess their individual survival rates. Kaplan-Meier analysis and the Cox regression model were used for survival analysis.
Results The most frequent reason for revision was aseptic loosening (47%). We found no differences in survival rates between different TEA designs. We did, however, find a 1.5-fold (95% CI: 1.1–2.1) elevated risk of revision in unspecialized hospitals as compared to the one hospital specialized in treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. In the Souter-Strathclyde subgroup, there was a reduced risk of revision (RR 0.6, p = 0.001) in TEAs implanted over 1994–2006 as compared to those implanted earlier (1982–1993). The 10-year survivorship for the whole TEA cohort was 83% (95% CI: 81–86), which agrees with earlier reports.
Interpretation The influence of implant choice on the survival of TEA is minor compared to hip and knee arthroplasties. Inferior survival rates of the TEAs performed in the unspecialized hospitals demonstrates the importance of proper indications, surgical technique, and postoperative follow-up, and endorses the need for centralization of these operations at specialized units.
doi:10.3109/17453670903110642
PMCID: PMC2823192  PMID: 19562563
12.  Cementless total hip arthroplasty in patients with severely dysplastic hips and a previous Schanz osteotomy of the femur 
Acta Orthopaedica  2009;80(3):263-269.
Background and purpose Historically, a Schanz osteotomy of the femur has been used to reduce limp in patients with severely dysplastic hips. In such hips, total hip arthroplasty is a technically demanding operation. We report the long-term results of cementless total hip arthroplasty in a group of patients who had all undergone a Schanz osteotomy earlier.
Patients and methods From 1988 through 1995, 68 total hip replacements were performed in 59 consecutive patients previously treated with a Schanz osteotomy. With the cup placed at the level of the true acetabulum, a shortening osteotomy of the proximal part of the femur and distal advancement of the greater trochanter were performed in 56 hips. At a mean of 13 (9–18) years postoperatively, we evaluated these patients clinically and radiographically.
Results The mean Harris hip score had increased from 51 points preoperatively to 93 points. Trendelenburg sign was negative and there was good or slightly reduced abduction strength in 23 of 25 hips that had not been revised. There were 12 perioperative complications. Only 1 cementless press-fit porous-coated cup was revised for aseptic loosening. However, the 12-year survival rate of these cups was only 64%, as 18 cups underwent revision for excessive wear of the polyethylene liner and/or osteolysis. 6 CDH femoral components had to be revised due to technical errors.
Interpretation Our results suggest that cementless total hip arthroplasty combined with a shortening osteotomy of the femur and distal advancement of the greater trochanter can be recommended for most patients with a previous Schanz osteotomy of the femur. Because of the high incidence of liner wear and osteolysÍs of modular cementless cups in this series, nowadays we use hard-on-hard articulations in these patients.
doi:10.3109/17453670902967273
PMCID: PMC2823216  PMID: 19421907
13.  Risk of cancer with metal-on-metal hip replacements: population based study 
Objective To assess the risk of cancer associated with modern primary metal-on-metal hip replacements.
Design Population based study.
Setting Nationwide retrospective comparative register.
Participants 10 728 patients who underwent metal-on-metal total hip arthroplasty and 18 235 patients who underwent conventional metal-on-polyethylene, ceramic-on-polyethylene, and ceramic-on-ceramic total hip arthroplasty (the non-metal-on-metal cohort) in the Finnish Arthroplasty Register 2001-10. Data on cancer cases up to 2010 for these cohorts were extracted from the Finnish Cancer Registry.
Main outcome measures The relative risk of cancer was expressed as the ratio of observed to expected number of cases from the Finnish population—that is, the standardised incidence ratio. The relative risk of cancer in the metal-on-metal cohort compared with the non-metal-on-metal cohort was estimated with analyses of these ratios and Poisson regression.
Results The overall risk of cancer in patients with metal-on-metal hip implants was similar to that in the Finnish population (378 observed v 400 expected, standardised incidence ratio 0.95, 95% confidence interval 0.85 to 1.04). The overall risk of cancer in patients with metal-on-metal hip implants was also no higher than in patients who had received non-metal-on-metal hip implants (relative risk 0.92, 0.81 to 1.05).
Conclusions Metal-on-metal hip replacements are not associated with an increased overall risk of cancer during a mean follow-up of four years.
doi:10.1136/bmj.e4646
PMCID: PMC3404595  PMID: 22833626
14.  Comorbid diseases as predictors of survival of primary total hip and knee replacements: a nationwide register-based study of 96 754 operations on patients with primary osteoarthritis 
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases  2012;72(12):1975-1982.
Objectives
To examine how comorbid diseases (cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, diabetes, cancer, pulmonary diseases, depression, psychotic disorders and neurodegenerative diseases) affect survival of hip and knee replacements.
Methods
Data for this register-based study were collected by combining data from five nationwide health registers. 43 747 primary total hip and 53 007 primary total knee replacements performed for osteoarthritis were included. The independent effects of comorbid diseases on prosthesis survival were analysed using multivariate Cox regression analysis.
Results
Occurrence of one or more of the diseases analysed was associated with poorer survival of hip (HR for revision 1.16, 95% CI 1.08 to 1.23) and knee replacements (1.23, 1.16 to 1.30). Cardiovascular diseases and psychotic disorders were associated with increased risk of revision after both hip (1.19, 1.06 to 1.34 and 1.41, 1.04 to 1.91, respectively) and knee replacement (1.29, 1.14 to 1.45 and 1.41, 1.07 to 1.86, respectively). Hypertension and diabetes were associated with early revision (0–5 years after primary operation) after knee replacements (1.14, 1.01 to 1.29 and 1.27, 1.08 to 1.50, respectively). Cancer was associated with poorer survival of hip replacements (1.27, 1.05 to 1.54) and late revision (>5 years) of knee replacements (2.21, 1.31 to 3.74). Depression affected the risk of early revision after hip replacement (1.50, 1.02 to 2.21). Neurodegenerative and pulmonary diseases did not affect prosthesis survival.
Conclusions
Comorbid diseases may play an important role in predicting survival of primary hip and knee replacements. The mechanisms underlying these findings and their effect on cost-effectiveness of joint replacements, merit further research.
doi:10.1136/annrheumdis-2012-202064
PMCID: PMC3841739  PMID: 23253916
Osteoarthritis; Orthopedic Surgery; Outcomes research

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