In order to overcome some of the drawbacks of regular hip replacements and to minimize the amount of bone removed during surgery, femoral components with shorter stems were tried. These short stems measure about 4 cm in length, while regular stems usually measure about 12 - 14 cm.
Short hip stem (left) compared to conventional stems (right)
The preliminary results of the surgery was encouraging, however more studies are underway to show whether or not these stems will last for many years as the conventional stems. That is why most surgeons still prefer to use the time-proven conventional stems and not the new short stems.