J Am Acad Orthop Surg April 2012 Anand Srinivasan Abstract
Modular femoral components have been developed to aid in recreating native femoral version, limb length, and offset in total hip arthroplasty. Use of modular implants results in cost savings, as well. Inventory can be reduced while allowing intraoperative flexibility and options. With modular implants, the femoral prosthesis can be built in situ, which is helpful in minimizing incision length and surgical dissection. However, additional modular junctions are associated with increased concern for component failure through taper fretting, fatigue fracture, and local corrosion, which may contribute to elevated serum metal ion levels. The recent trend toward using larger diameter femoral heads may impart higher loads and stress than were seen previously. Although modular components offer a plethora of intraoperative options in primary and revision total hip arthroplasty, the long-term effects of these additional junctions remains unknown.