Femoral Stems: Is Shorter Better?

    Many orthopaedic surgeons looking for more conservative, tissue-sparing techniques for total hip arthroplasty have gravitated to short femoral stems. According to David Lewallen, MD, from Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, research is showing that some of these stems are just as effective as long stems and can be used in most cases.

    The advantage of short stems, Dr. Lewallen said, is the ease of insertion. Because they are smaller, shorter, and curved, these stems are less likely to cause damage to the adductor mechanism during insertion.

    We asked Dr. Lewallen to comment on the use of short femoral stems in his practice. Click the images below to hear his comments.

    Are short stems a fad, or are they here to stay?

    What is needed for wider adoption of these stems?

    What’s driving interest in short stems?

    Producer: Michael Szuch; Director, Michael Bugera; Post Production: Charles Maynard