Roush, Thomas F.; Olson, Steven A.; Pietrobon, Ricardo; Braga, Larissa; Urbaniak, James R.
October 2006
Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery, American Volume;Oct2006, Vol. 88-A Issue 10, p2152
Academic Journal
Background: Osteonecrosis of the femoral head frequently results in collapse of the head and subsequent arthrosis of the joint. Surgical treatment has been based entirely on the evaluation of the femoral side of the hip joint, with little consideration given to the possible influence on outcome of the orientation of the acetabulum. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed a consecutive series of 200 hips in 160 patients with osteonecrosis of the femoral head who had undergone free vascularized fibular grafting between 1997 and 1998. The mean duration of clinical follow-up was 7.5 years. Ninety-one hips in seventy-one patients were evaluated radiographically for evidence of progression of femoral head collapse at a minimum of two years, and a mean of three years, postoperatively. We defined conversion to a total hip arthroplasty and progression of femoral head collapse as the failure end points, and we analyzed the association of the acetabular center-edge angle of Wiberg, the area and laterality of the lesion, the amount of preoperative collapse of the femoral head, and the etiology of the osteonecrosis with the likelihood of failure. Results: Forty-eight (24%) of the 200 hips had undergone conversion to a total hip arthroplasty at the time of the final clinical follow-up. In addition, 15% (fourteen) of the ninety-one hips with sufficient radiographic follow-up demonstrated progression of femoral head collapse at the time of the final radiographic examination. Of the hips with a center-edge angle of ≤30°, 55% (of those with sufficient radiographic follow-up) demonstrated progressive collapse and 45% were converted to a total hip arthroplasty. In contrast, of the hips with a center-edge angle of >30°, 10% had progressive collapse (p = 0.002) and 6% were converted to a total hip arthroplasty (p < 0.001). Neither the etiology nor the size of the lesion was significantly correlated with progression of collapse or conversion to a total hip arthroplasty. Conclusions: Patients with osteonecrosis of the femoral head and a suboptimal center-edge angle of the hip are at substantial risk for progression of femoral head collapse and conversion to a total hip arthroplasty following free vascularized fibular grafting. An estimation of the degree of hip dysplasia should be included in the preoperative assessment of patients with osteonecrosis of the femoral head for prognostic and possibly surgical planning purposes.


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