Scientific Article   |    
Acute Total Hip Arthroplasty for Selected Displaced Acetabular Fractures Two to Twelve-Year Results
Dana C. Mears, MD, PhD; John H. Velyvis, MD
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Investigation performed at the Division of Orthopaedic Surgery, Albany Medical Center, Albany, New York

Dana C. Mears, MD, PhD
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, 4940 Eastern Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21224-2780. E-mail address: mearshouse@prodigy.net

John H. Velyvis, MD
Division of Orthopaedic Surgery, Albany Medical Center, 47 New Scotland Avenue, Albany, NY 12208-3479. E-mail address: jhv1@hotmail.com

No benefits in any form have been received or will be received from a commercial party related directly or indirectly to the subject of this article. No funds were received in support of this study.

J Bone Joint Surg Am, 2002 Jan 01;84(1):1-9
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Background: We assessed the role of acute total hip arthroplasty in a selected group of patients with a displaced acetabular fracture and complicating features that greatly diminished the likelihood of a favorable outcome after open reduction and internal fixation.

Methods: Between 1985 and 1997, fifty-seven patients underwent an acute total hip arthroplasty for a displaced acetabular fracture. Patients were followed for a mean of 8.1 years (range, two to twelve years). The mean time from the injury to the arthroplasty was six days (range, one to twenty days). The mean age of the patients at the time of the arthroplasty was sixty-nine years (range, twenty-six to eighty-nine years). Indications for the acute arthroplasty included intra-articular comminution as well as full-thickness abrasive loss of the articular cartilage, impaction of the femoral head, and impaction of the acetabulum that involved >40% of the joint surface and included the weight-bearing region.

Results: At the time of the latest follow-up, the mean Harris hip score was 89 points (range, 69 to 100 points); forty-five patients (79%) had an excellent or good outcome. There were six cases of heterotopic bone formation, including one of symptomatic grade-IV ossification. During the initial six postoperative weeks, the acetabular cups subsided an average of 3 mm medially and 2 mm vertically. All of the cups then stabilized, and none were loose at the latest follow-up evaluation. Six patients had excessive medialization of the cup, but none had late loosening or osteolysis. Nine cups (16%) had notable polyethylene wear, but none were revised. No cup or stem had late clinical or radiographic evidence of loosening. There were three late procedures: one for revision of a malaligned cup because of recurrent dislocations, one for removal of hardware from the greater trochanter, and one for excision of heterotopic bone.

Conclusions: In selected patients with a displaced acetabular fracture that has a low likelihood of a favorable outcome after fracture treatment, an acute total hip arthroplasty may provide an alternative means with which to achieve a painless, mobile hip. These complex procedures are best undertaken by a surgical team with substantial experience with both acetabular trauma and hip arthroplasty.

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    Accreditation Statement
    These activities have been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint sponsorship of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
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