Modular dual-mobility (MDM) total hip arthroplasty (THA) is designed with a cobalt-chromium liner inserted into a titanium acetabular component. The purpose of this study is to investigate the potential risks for fretting corrosion at this junction, by measuring serum metal ions, after MDM acetabular revision.

Thirty-seven patients with well-functioning revision THAs participated in a cross-sectional study at mean 5.1 (2-10) years after surgery. All received a trabecular titanium MDM acetabular component. The serum levels of cobalt and chromium were measured using mass spectrometry.

The mean values of chromium and cobalt were 2.08 μg/L (95% confidence interval 0.9-3.2, range 0.02-11.8) and 1.99 μg/L (95% confidence interval 0.81-3.17, range 0.07-16.05), respectively. Eleven patients (29, 7%) had ion levels above the normal range, with 6 (16.2%) above 5 μg/L and 5 (13.5%) between 1 and 5 μg/L. A significant correlation was found between an elevated serum metal ion level and University of California Los Angeles score (P = .016).

We conclude that serum metal level elevation may occur secondary to metal debris resulting from corrosion of the index MDM THA. This potential risk should be included in the decision-making process when dealing with revision arthroplasty in young and active patients.