Background: Elimination of abnormally high joint-loading resulting in excessive contact stresses may prevent or reduce the onset of osteoarthrosis in a dysplastic hip. A number of periacetabular osteotomies have been shown to be effective in restoring normal hip-joint mechanics. We treat acetabular dysplasia with a periacetabular osteotomy performed through a modified Ollier transtrochanteric approach. In this report, we describe the operative technique and the clinical and radiographic results.
Methods: Thirty-six patients (thirty-eight hips) in whom a painful dysplastic hip had been treated with a periacetabular osteotomy between March 1991 and June 1999 were included in the study. There were thirty-five female patients and one male patient with a mean age (and standard deviation) at the operation of 29.42 ± 9.1 years. The technique utilizes a u-shaped skin incision, and a routine osteotomy of the greater trochanter with distal transfer if needed, and allows excellent visualization enabling the surgeon to perform the periacetabular osteotomy without penetrating the joint.
Results: At a mean of five years and six months postoperatively, the mean modified Harris hip score had improved from 59.1 ± 15.8 points preoperatively to 87.97 ± 14.3 points. Radiographically, the degree of osteoarthrosis had decreased in eleven hips, remained unchanged in twenty-four, and worsened in three. The mean anterior center-edge angle had increased from 22.0° ± 12.9° to 36.1° ± 12.3°, the mean lateral center-edge angle had increased from -2.7° ± 14.4° to 26.6° ± 14.1°, the mean acetabular index angle had improved from 23.4° ± 6.6° to 12.7° ± 4.6°, and the mean acetabular head index had increased from 48.2% ± 12.7% to 73.1% ± 16.0%. The Shenton line was restored in eleven hips. Thirty patients (thirty-two hips; 84%) had a satisfactory result. A poor preoperative functional score was associated with an unsatisfactory outcome (p = 0.00191). Complications included prolonged limping (eleven hips); numbness in the distribution of the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve (four); osteonecrosis of the rotated acetabular fragment (two); and acetabulofemoral impingement, heterotopic ossification, and a defect on the rotated ilium (one hip each).
Conclusions: Painful dysplastic hips should be treated before function becomes seriously impaired. We believe that periacetabular osteotomy through a modified Ollier approach, which allows osseous cuts to be made under direct vision, can be learned readily. It provides improved femoral head coverage and relief of symptoms in most painful dysplastic hips in adolescents and young adults.