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Hip arthrodesis in the pediatric population: where do we stand?

Author(s): Bernd Bittersohl | Daniela Zaps | James D. Bomar | Harish S. Hosalkar

Journal: Orthopedic Reviews
ISSN 2035-8237

Volume: 3;
Issue: 2;
Start page: e13;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: hip arthrodesis | pediatric | indication | technique | outcome.

Reconstructive and salvage procedures have continued to evolve in orthopedic surgery with changing functional demands of the population as well as advances in implants and surgical techniques. What used to be popular or traditional care at some point may eventually become a thing of the past, and this is true as far as many orthopedic surgical procedures are concerned. Understanding the etiology, pathogenesis, and managing and postponing the destructive pathway of osteoarthritis (OA) has been the goal of orthopedists since the specialty began in the early part of 18th century. Options of treating the severe sequelae of an arthritic joint have varied in different treatment eras. Management options have changed from a spectrum of non-treatment and slow suffering to muscle and soft-tissue releases, interposition arthroplasty and eventual extreme options like joint fusion or arthrodesis. The concept and advent of joint replacement surgery started a new era in the management of OA and was a dream come true in many ways. Mobility and stability are achieved together during the arthroplasty (joint replacement) that allowes the patient to maintain a good level of function. Arthroplasty certainly has its pros and cons as we have discovered in the past six decades. Pushing the envelope to younger population has its limitation in terms of longevity of the prosthesis, early loosening, need for repeated revisions that at some point may not be technically possible and risk of infection and disastrous consequences like PE and death associated with the gravity of the procedure. As infrequent as it is in today’s clinical practice, arthrodesis of the hip joint has a role and remains a solid option for a well selected case. The purpose of this review is to discuss the current indications in the pediatric population and outline surgical techniques for hip arthrodesis while pointing out limitations and shortcomings.
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