Penalty for Switching Implants? Assessing the Learning Curve With a Collarless, Tapered Wedge Cementless Femoral Component

Brian T. Muffly, Jude C. Kluemper, Cale A. Jacobs, David C. Landy, Stephen T. Duncan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Surgeon learning curve associated with a tapered wedge femoral implant as measured by early femoral component subsidence and 90-day risk of reoperation was evaluated. Methods: The first 451 patients undergoing primary, cementless total hip arthroplasty by a single, fellowship-trained arthroplasty surgeon with a tapered wedge stem design were retrospectively reviewed. Early radiographic femoral component subsidence during the first 6 weeks postoperatively and 90-day reoperations was recorded. Results: When stratified by approach, there was no association between date of surgery and femoral component subsidence in the posterior approach (P-value for linear trend over time = 0.44). In the direct anterior approach, there was a significant association between date of surgery and early femoral component subsidence (P-value for linear trend over time = 0.01). For both approaches, there was an increase in implanted stem size relative to templated stem size over time (P < .01 and P = .03, respectively). There was no association between the date of surgery and risk of 90-day reoperation (P = .45). Conclusions: In a single surgeon's initial use of a tapered cementless wedge stem, early femoral component subsidence was not impacted by the surgeon's learning curve when the posterior approach was utilized. Although subsidence was associated with date of surgery in the direct anterior cohort, this was not associated with increased risk of 90-day reoperation. Should a surgeon adopt a new tapered-wedge stem, these findings suggest that the stem is forgiving both in relation to subsidence and 90-day reoperation risk when appropriate surgical technique is utilized.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101119
JournalArthroplasty Today
StatePublished - Apr 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors


  • Learning curve
  • Revision risk
  • Subsidence
  • THA
  • Tapered wedge stem

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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