Open Access Research article

Charnley low-friction arthroplasty of the hip. Five to 25 years survivorship in a general hospital

Daniel Hernández-Vaquero12*, Abelardo Suárez-Vazquez1 and Jesus Fernandez-Lombardia1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Hospital St Agustin, Aviles, Spain

2 School of Medicine, University of Oviedo, Spain

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BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 2008, 9:69  doi:10.1186/1471-2474-9-69

Published: 15 May 2008



Some studies have raised the question about whether the good results obtained with the Charnley prosthesis could be replicated at general hospitals when it comes to the frequency of early complications and failure rates, both of which would be higher than those published by centres devoted to hip arthroplasties.


We reviewed the results of 404 Low Friction Arthroplasties of the hip implanted between 1976 and 1993 in a general hospital by general orthopaedic surgeons. For the survival analysis, the end-point chosen would be the chirurgical revision of any of the prosthetic components for whatever reason.


The complications were 16 dislocations (4%), 14 deep infections (3.5%), 2 neurological injuries (0,5%) and 5 clinical deep venous thromboses (1.2%) (2 pulmonary embolisms). The survival rate at 25 years, both for stem and cup, was 83%. Survival was higher in those arthroplasties implanted in patients older than 60 years, with statistical significance.


Low Friction Arthroplasty undertaken at general hospitals by general orthopaedic surgeons feature similar outcomes to those found in centres devoted to hip surgery.