Traction table versus standard table total hip arthroplasty through the direct anterior approach: a systematic review Journal Articles uri icon

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  • Background: The direct anterior approach (DAA) for total hip arthroplasty (THA) was originally performed with a supine patient on a specialised traction table, but the approach can also be performed on a standard operating table. Despite cost and safety implications, there are few studies directly comparing these techniques and table choice remains largely surgeon preference. The purpose of this review was to compare the clinical outcomes and complication profiles of traction and standard table DAA for primary THA. Methods: The authors searched databases for relevant studies, screening in duplicate. Study quality was assessed using MINORS criteria or Cochrane Risk of Bias Tool. Data pertaining to patient demographics, clinical outcomes, and complications were abstracted. Results: Of 3085 initial titles, 44 studies containing a total 26,353 patients were included and analysed. Mean operative time was 70.9 ± 21.2 minutes for standard table ( n = 4402) and 100.1 ± 32.6 minutes for traction table ( n = 3518). Mean estimated blood loss was 382.3 ± 246.4 mL for standard ( n = 2992) and 531.7 ± 364.3 mL for traction table ( n = 2675). Intra-operative fracture rate was 1.3% for standard table ( n = 3940) and 1.7% for traction table ( n = 8386). Complication rates including revisions, dislocations and peri-prosthetic fractures were qualitatively similar between traction and standard table studies. Conclusion: Standard table and traction table DAA have similar outcomes and complications. Both techniques offer the short-term advantages of DAA when compared to other THA approaches. However, the standard table technique may offer perioperative advantages including decreased blood loss, shorter operative time, and fewer intraoperative fractures. In the context of rising global healthcare costs and lack of access to specialised orthopaedic traction tables, this review at minimum confirms the short-term safety of standard table DAA THA and prompts the need for future studies to directly compare these techniques.


  • Wood, Thomas
  • Sarraj, Mohamed
  • Chen, Aaron
  • Ekhtiari, Seper
  • Rubinger, Luc

publication date

  • November 2020