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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.
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.
The differences in THR survival rates were considerable, with inferior results in Finland. Brand-level comparison of THRs in Nordic countries will be required.
PMCID: PMC3967250  PMID: 24650019
2.  Increased risk of revision in patients with non-traumatic femoral head necrosis 
Acta Orthopaedica  2014;85(1):11-17.
Background and purpose
Previous studies of patients who have undergone total hip arthroplasty (THA) due to femoral head necrosis (FHN) have shown an increased risk of revision compared to cases with primary osteoarthritis (POA), but recent studies have suggested that this procedure is not associated with poor outcome. We compared the risk of revision after operation with THA due to FHN or POA in the Nordic Arthroplasty Register Association (NARA) database including Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden.
Patients and methods
427,806 THAs performed between 1995 and 2011 were included. The relative risk of revision for any reason, for aseptic loosening, dislocation, deep infection, and periprosthetic fracture was studied before and after adjustment for covariates using Cox regression models.
416,217 hips with POA (mean age 69 (SD 10), 59% females) and 11,589 with FHN (mean age 65 (SD 16), 58% females) were registered. The mean follow-up was 6.3 (SD 4.3) years. After 2 years of observation, 1.7% in the POA group and 3.0% in the FHN group had been revised. The corresponding proportions after 16 years of observation were 4.2% and 6.1%, respectively. The 16-year survival in the 2 groups was 86% (95% CI: 86–86) and 77% (CI: 74–80). After adjusting for covariates, the relative risk (RR) of revision for any reason was higher in patients with FHN for both periods studied (up to 2 years: RR = 1.44, 95% CI: 1.34–1.54; p < 0.001; and 2–16 years: RR = 1.25, 1.14–1.38; p < 0.001).
Patients with FHN had an overall increased risk of revision. This increased risk persisted over the entire period of observation and covered more or less all of the 4 most common reasons for revision.
PMCID: PMC3940986  PMID: 24359026
3.  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.
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).
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.
PMCID: PMC3940989  PMID: 24397743
4.  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).
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.
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.
PMCID: PMC3768031  PMID: 23799348
5.  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.
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.
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.
PMCID: PMC3488170  PMID: 23083433
6.  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.
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.
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).
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.
PMCID: PMC3369143  PMID: 22616745
7.  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.
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).
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.
PMCID: PMC3242947  PMID: 21992084
8.  Statistical analysis of arthroplasty data 
Acta Orthopaedica  2011;82(3):253-257.
It is envisaged that guidelines for statistical analysis and presentation of results will improve the quality and value of research. The Nordic Arthroplasty Register Association (NARA) has therefore developed guidelines for the statistical analysis of arthroplasty register data. The guidelines are divided into two parts, this one with an introduction and a discussion of the background to the guidelines, and the second one with a more technical statistical discussion on how specific problems can be handled (Ranstam et al. 2011b, see pages x-y in this issue). This first part contains an overview of implant survival analysis and statistical methods used to evaluate factors with a potential influence on this outcome.
PMCID: PMC3235301  PMID: 21619499
9.  Statistical analysis of arthroplasty data 
Acta Orthopaedica  2011;82(3):258-267.
It is envisaged that guidelines for statistical analysis and presentation of results will improve the quality and value of research. The Nordic Arthroplasty Register Association (NARA) has therefore developed guidelines for the statistical analysis of arthroplasty register data. The guidelines are divided into two parts, one with an introduction and a discussion of the background to the guidelines (Ranstam et al. 2011a, see pages x-y in this issue), and this one with a more technical statistical discussion on how specific problems can be handled. This second part contains (1) recommendations for the interpretation of methods used to calculate survival, (2) recommendations on howto deal with bilateral observations, and (3) a discussion of problems and pitfalls associated with analysis of factors that influence survival or comparisons between outcomes extracted from different hospitals.
PMCID: PMC3235302  PMID: 21619500
10.  Cementless total hip arthroplasty for primary osteoarthritis in patients aged 55 years and older 
Acta Orthopaedica  2010;81(1):42-52.
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).
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.
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.
PMCID: PMC2856203  PMID: 20180718
11.  Cancer risk is not increased after conventional hip arthroplasty 
Acta Orthopaedica  2010;81(1):77-81.
Background and purpose
Wear debris from conventional total hip arthroplasty (THA) induces chromosomal aberrations and DNA damage, which may promote cancerogenesis. A long latent period is required for solid tumors. We therefore re-analyzed a large THA cohort for cancer.
Patients and methods
We updated a cohort of 24,636 patients with primary osteoarthritis and metal-on-polyethylene THA who had been entered in the Finnish Arthroplasty Register between 1980 and 1995, and linked it to the Finnish Cancer Registry for cancer risk assessment up to 2005. The mean follow-up time was 13 years. The numbers of cancer cases observed were compared with expected rates based on incidence in the general population.
The standardized incidence ratio (SIR) for the whole follow-up period was 0.95 (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.92–0.97). After 10 years of follow-up, the SIR was equal to that in the normal population (SIR = 0.98, 95% CI: 0.94–1.03). Incidence of lung cancer was low throughout the follow-up time and that of prostate cancer was slightly elevated. The incidence rates for all other forms of cancer did not deviate significantly from those in the normal population.
We found no increased cancer risk in patients with conventional THA after an average of 13 years and up to 25 years of follow-up.
PMCID: PMC2856208  PMID: 20178446

Results 1-11 (11)