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Few Complications Seen With Surgical Hip Dislocation

After excluding heterotopic complications, complication rate lower than 5 percent

MONDAY, June 27 (HealthDay News) -- The surgical hip dislocation approach has a low incidence of complications, according to a study published in the June 15 issue of The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

Ernest L. Sink, M.D., from The Children's Hospital in Aurora, Colo., and colleagues investigated the incidence and character of complications associated with surgical hip dislocation. A total of 302 patients with 334 hip dislocations, who had not undergone a simultaneous osteotomy, were included in the analysis. Complications were noted and specifically assessed for osteonecrosis, trochanteric nonunion, femoral neck fracture, nerve injury, heterotopic ossification, and thromboembolic disease. They were classified into five grades based on the treatment required to manage the complication and associated long-term morbidity: Grade I (no change in routine postoperative care), Grade II (changes in out-patient management), Grade III (invasive surgical or radiologic management), Grade IV (long-term morbidity or is life-threatening), and Grade V(death).

The investigators identified 18 Grade I complications, six Grade II, nine Grade III, and one Grade IV complication. One or more complications were found in 30 hips with an overall incidence of 9 percent. The complication rate was 4.8 percent (16 of 334 hips) after excluding heterotopic ossification.

"Surgical hip dislocation is a safe procedure with a low complication rate. Many of the complications were clinically unimportant heterotopic ossification," the authors write.

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