Acetabular spacers in 2-stage hip revision: is it worth it? A single-centre retrospective study



The aim of this work is to evaluate an acetabular antibiotic loaded bone cement spacer in 2-stage revision surgery as a potential approach able to reduce complications during the inter-stage period (i.e. dislocation, acetabular wear), as well as simplify 2-stage hip revision surgery and improve hip biomechanics.


We performed a retrospective comparative study and evaluated clinical, radiological and surgical data of 71 patients affected by periprosthetic hip infection who were treated with 2-stage exchange. 31 patients were treated using an acetabular spacer in addition to the femoral (group A) while 40 underwent a standard revision surgery (femoral spacer only, group B).


Mean time of surgery for the first stage was 148 ± 59 minutes and 142 ± 45 minutes for group A and B respectively; we noted a statistically significant reduction (26 min, p = 0.015) in the same parameter for the second stage (83 ± 35 minutes for group A and 109 ± 36 minutes for group B). We observed the following interstage complications: 5 femoral spacer dislocations (1 for group A and 4 for group B); 1 spacer fracture (group B), 1 spacer fracture (group A), 2 periprosthetic fractures (group B) and 2 patients with acetabular spacer instability (group B). Additionally, we observed a significant improvement in leg length restoration for group A (p = 0.03).


Our data show that the acetabular spacer technique is able to reduce the interstage complication rate and allow improved hip biomechanics restoration.

Hip Int 2017; 27(2): 187 - 192




Giorgio Burastero, Marco Basso, Giuliana Carrega, Luca Cavagnaro, Francesco Chiarlone, Carlo Salomone, Gabriele Papa, Lamberto Felli

Article History


Financial support: None.
Conflict of interest: None.

This article is available as full text PDF.

  • If you are a Subscriber, please log in now.

  • Article price: Eur 36,00
  • You will be granted access to the article for 72 hours and you will be able to download any format (PDF or ePUB). The article will be available in your login area under "My PayPerView". You will need to register a new account (unless you already own an account with this journal), and you will be guided through our online shop. Online purchases are paid by Credit Card through PayPal.
  • If you are not a Subscriber you may:
  • Subscribe to this journal
  • Unlimited access to all our archives, 24 hour a day, every day of the week.



  • Infectious Diseases and Septic Orthopaedics, Hospital St. Mary of Mercy, Albenga - Italy
  • Orthopaedic Clinic - IRCCS University Hospital San Martino IST, Genova - Italy

Article usage statistics

The blue line displays unique views in the time frame indicated.
The yellow line displays unique downloads.
Views and downloads are counted only once per session.

No supplementary material is available for this article.