The Journal of Hip Surgery 2018; 02(01): 022-032
DOI: 10.1055/s-0038-1642056
Special Section Article
Thieme Medical Publishers 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA.

Ceramic-on-Polyethylene Bearing Usage in Primary THA Is Associated with Reduced Readmission Risk for the Medicare Population

Steven M. Kurtz
1   Exponent Inc., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Edmund Lau
2   Exponent Inc., Menlo Park, California
Doruk Baykal
2   Exponent Inc., Menlo Park, California
Bryan D. Springer
3   OrthoCarolina Hip and Knee Center, Charlotte, North Carolina
› Author Affiliations
Funding This study was supported with institutional funding from CeramTec.
Further Information

Publication History

25 September 2017

06 February 2018

Publication Date:
20 April 2018 (online)


The authors hypothesized that unplanned readmissions, which are often caused by infections and dislocation, may be reduced with ceramic bearing usage. They also sought to confirm that the readmission rates for ceramic bearings were associated with the year of surgery. They identified 245,077 elderly patients (65+) who underwent primary total hip arthroplasty (THA) between 2010 and 2015 with known bearing types (ceramic-on-polyethylene [C-PE] ceramic-on-ceramic [COC], and metal-on-polyethylene [M-PE]) from the Medicare 100% inpatient database. Outcomes included relative risk of 30- and 90-day readmission. Propensity scores were developed to adjust for selection bias in the choice of bearing type at index surgery. Cox regression incorporating propensity score stratification (10 levels) was used to evaluate the impact of bearing selection on outcomes, after adjusting for patient-, hospital-, surgeon-related factors, as well as the year of surgery. With C-PE bearings, the unadjusted (crude) 90-day readmission rate decreased from 8.7% in 2010 to 8.3% in 2015. For COC bearings, the crude 90-day readmission rate decreased from 10.5 to 9.1% from 2010 to 2015. After adjustment, year of surgery was associated with reduced readmission risk for both types of ceramic bearings in 30-day readmissions (p < 0.05) and COC in 90-day readmissions (p < 0.001). The authors also found that C-PE bearings were associated with significantly reduced readmission risk relative to M-PE at 30 days (hazard ratio [HR]: 0.91, p < 0.001) and 90 days (HR: 0.93, p < 0.001). In terms of strength of association with 90-day readmission, however, it was ranked the ninth most associated independent factor. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first study to demonstrate an association between THA implant characteristics (in this case C-PE bearing usage) and reduced readmission rates in this context along with patient- and clinical-related factors. The readmission rates for COC were found to be comparable to M-PE.


Each author certifies that all investigations were conducted in conformity with ethical principles of research.

This work was performed at Exponent, Inc., Philadelphia, PA.