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Hip arthrodesis in children: A review of 28 patients

Author(s): Banskota Ashok | Shrestha Shikshya | Banskota Bibek | Bijukacche Binod | Rajbhandari Tarun

Journal: Indian Journal of Orthopaedics
ISSN 0019-5413

Volume: 43;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 383;
Date: 2009;
Original page

Keywords: Hip arthrodesis | arthrodesis in children | cobra plate | post infective arthritis

Background: The best method of treating intractable hip pain in an unsalvageable hip joint in a child is still a subject open to debate. We believe that hip arthrodesis in such patients provides a painless and stable hip for most activities of daily living in our challenging rural terrain. Therefore, we conducted this study to assess the functional ability of children with painful hip arthrosis treated by arthrodesis of the hip. Materials and Methods: A retrospective evaluation of 28 children (out of 35) who had an arthrodesis of the hip performed between 1994 and 2008 was carried out. The average age was 14 years, with 12 males and 16 females. There was involvement of the right hip in 13 and left in 15 cases. The average duration of follow-up was 4.87 years. The preferred position of the hip for arthrodesis was 20-30° of flexion, neutral abduction-adduction, and neutral rotation, irrespective of the method of fixation. Results: The average duration of clinical and radiological arthrodesis was found to be 4 months (2-6 months). At the last follow-up, all patients were painfree and had good ambulatory capacity. The average Modified Harris Hip Score increased from 53 to 84 and the average post-surgical limb length discrepancy was 1.3 cm, which was well tolerated in all cases. Patients, however, had difficulty in squatting and had to modify their posture for foot care, putting on shoes, etc. Also, some patients complained of ipsilateral knee, contralateral hip, or low back pain with prolonged activity, but this was not severe enough to restrict activity except in one case that was known to have juvenile rheumatoid arthritis and needed ambulatory aid. Conclusion: In an environment where pathology generally presents very late and often in a dramatic manner, where the patient′s socioeconomic status, understanding, compliance, and the logistics of follow-up are consistently a challenge in management, hip arthrodesis has been an important procedure for our patient group, with good short-term results and promising midterm, and, hopefully, long-term prospects. In our series of patients, we have been successful in restoring painfree mobility.

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