Intraoperative Frozen Section Analysis for Failed Metal-on-Metal Total Hip Arthroplasty: Is It Useful?


Recent failure mechanisms seen with metal-on-metal (MOM) total hip arthroplasty (THA) include a spectrum of inflammatory and immune-mediated reactions of lymphocyte predominance. Frozen section (FS) analysis has been used to evaluate joints for acute inflammation indicative of infection. However, the impact of the inflammatory response to metal debris on FS analysis is unknown and the usefulness of FS analysis in failed MOM THA has not been reported. This study investigated the impact of intraoperative FS analysis in evaluating the possibility of infection in 30 patients undergoing revision of a failed MOM THA. The authors’ experience suggests that FS has acceptable specificity (96.6%) for infection in revision MOM surgery, although one false positive was noted in this series and the addition of FS did not provide obvious diagnostic utility. The authors believe that FS should be used selectively (if at all) in conjunction with other studies to avoid misdiagnosis in failed MOM THA. (Journal of Surgical Orthopaedic Advances 24(1):51–56, 2015) Key words: frozen section, infection, metal-on-metal, revision total hip arthroplasty

SKU: JSOA-2015-24-1-S10 Categories: , Tags: , , ,

Ian S. MacLean, BA; Wendy M. Novicoff, PhD; and James A. Browne, MD