• At the New York Orthopaedic Hospital, a study was made of postoperative complications in 800 consecutive total hip replacements of the Charnley low-friction arthroplasty type. Specially designed records made it possible to document and include all systemic and local complications of this procedure. While the rate of postoperative infection was low (less than 1%), thromboembolism and deep-vein thrombosis incidence was high despite the introduction of a prophylactic anticoagulation regimen. There were no deaths during or immediately after surgery, but six occurred within the first six weeks postoperatively. Two were due to a massive pulmonary embolus (proved at autopsy), two to myocardial infarction (clinical diagnosis), and one to a perforated cecum (proved at autopsy). The incidence of mechanical and technical failures in our series was relatively low and quite comparable with results reported by others.
(Arch Surg 111:150-155, 1976)