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Surgeon. 2007 Oct;5(5):282-9.

Managing femoral head osteonecrosis in patients with sickle cell disease.

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  • 1Salmanyia Medical Centre, Manama, Bahrain.


With an increasing number of people immigrating between different countries, sickle cell disease (SCD) is spreading all over the world. Due to improved health care, the life span of SCD patients has increased and many of them live to adulthood and middle-age. Osteonecrosis of the femoral head is one of the most common musculo-skeletal problems in SCD patients. Once osteonecrosis starts in the femoral head, it can progress from early to late stages in just a few years. Managing osteonecrosis of the femoral head in young-adults is a challenging problem and, in many situations, it requires major surgical procedures. In the early stages of the disease it is advisable to treat it by femoral head preserving procedures. In advanced stages, hip replacement arthroplasty (HPA) is indicated. In SCD patients, the incidence of operative complications and failure rates are higher than that for osteonecrosis due to other causes. Understanding the problems of SCD patients; appropriate diagnosis, prognosis, implications of the procedure performed and taking the necessary precautions, can reduce the complications and delay the failure of surgical procedures.

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