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Journal of Long-Term Effects of Medical Implants
SJR: 0.332 SNIP: 0.491 CiteScore™: 0.89

ISSN Print: 1050-6934
ISSN Online: 1940-4379

Journal of Long-Term Effects of Medical Implants

DOI: 10.1615/JLongTermEffMedImplants.v21.i3.50
pages 219-224

Improving the Accuracy of Acetabular Cup Implantation Using a Bulls-Eye Spirit Level

Duncan Macdonald
Southern General Hospital, Glasgow
Sanjay Gupta
Trauma & Orthopaedics Department, Southern General Hospital, Glasgow G51 4TF Scotland
Nicholas E. Ohly
Trauma & Orthopaedics Department, Southern General Hospital, Glasgow G51 4TF Scotland
Sanjeev Patil
Trauma & Orthopaedics Department, Southern General Hospital, Glasgow G51 4TF Scotland
R. Dominic Meek
Trauma & Orthopaedics Department, Southern General Hospital, Glasgow G51 4TF Scotland
Aslam Mohammed
Trauma & Orthopaedics Department, Southern General Hospital, Glasgow G51 4TF Scotland

ABSTRACT

Acetabular introducers have a built-in inclination of 45 degrees to the handle shaft. With patients in the lateral position, surgeons aim to align the introducer shaft vertical to the floor to implant the acetabulum at 45 degrees. We aimed to determine if a bulls-eye spirit level attached to an introducer improved the accuracy of implantation.
A small circular bulls-eye spirit level was attached to the handle of an acetabular introducer. A saw bone hemipelvis was fixed to a horizontal, flat surface. A cement substitute was placed in the acetabulum and subjects were asked to implant a polyethylene cup, aiming to obtain an angle of inclination of 45 degrees. Two attempts were made with the spirit level masked and two with it unmasked. The distance of the air bubble from the spirit level's center was recorded by a single assessor. The angle of inclination of the acetabular component was then calculated. Subjects included both orthopedic consultants and trainees.
Twenty-five subjects completed the study. Accuracy of acetabular implantation when using the unmasked spirit level improved significantly in all grades of surgeon. With the spirit level masked, 12 out of 50 attempts were accurate at 45 degrees inclination; 11 out of 50 attempts were "open," with greater than 45 degrees of inclination, and 27 were "closed," with less than 45 degrees. With the spirit level visible, all subjects achieved an inclination angle of exactly 45 degrees.
A simple device attached to the handle of an acetabular introducer can significantly improve the accuracy of implantation of a cemented cup into a saw bone pelvis in the lateral position.