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Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2012 Sep;470(9):2421-30. doi: 10.1007/s11999-011-2220-4.

What is the evidence supporting the prevention of osteoarthritis and improved femoral coverage after shelf procedure for Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease?

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  • 1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The evidence supporting continued use of shelf acetabuloplasty in Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease (LCPD) is not well-defined, and there is controversy regarding the long-term benefits related to clinical and functional improvement.

QUESTIONS/PURPOSES:

Our goals were to determine whether shelf arthroplasty for LCPD (1) prevents the onset of early osteoarthritis; (2) improves pain, ROM, activity, and functional outcomes; (3) maintains or improves femoral head containment, sphericity, and congruency; (4) changes the acetabular index; and (5) is associated with a low rate of complications.

METHODS:

We performed a systematic review of the medical literature from 1966 to 2009 using the search terms Perthes, shelf procedure, and acetabuloplasty. We excluded reports using multiple/combined treatment methods and those not clearly stratifying outcomes. Thirteen studies met the criteria. There were no Level I studies, one Level II prognostic study, five Level III therapeutic studies, and seven Level IV studies. Mean followup ranged from 2.6 to 17.9 years.

RESULTS:

Only one study reported progression to early osteoarthritis in one patient. We found no evidence for improvement in ROM and continued pain relief at long-term followup. Mean decrease in lateral subluxation ratio was 13% to 30%, demonstrating an improvement in femoral head containment. Mean acetabular cover percentage improved 16% to 38%, and mean acetabular and center-edge angles improved 4° to 14° and 8° to 33°, respectively. There were no reports of any major complications after the procedure.

CONCLUSIONS:

While radiographic measurements indicate improved coverage of the femoral head after shelf acetabuloplasty for LCPD, available evidence does not document the procedure prevents early onset of osteoarthritis or improves long-term function.

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