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J Arthroplasty. 1999 Feb;14(2):159-64.

Results of a method of leg-length equalization for patients undergoing primary total hip replacement.

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Stanford University Hospital, California, USA.


The postoperative leg-length discrepancy was determined radiographically for a consecutive series of 351 patients (408 hips) who underwent bilateral or unilateral primary total hip replacement using a single method of leg-length equalization by preoperative planning with overlay templates. The method of equalization was performed by a measurement of the femoral head and neck segment to be resected from a reference point at the superior aspect of the dislocated femoral head. The amount of femoral bone resected was determined preoperatively by determining the dimensions of the acetabular component thickness and the femoral component head and neck height that would be replacing this resected bone and adjusting this distance for any preexisting leg-length discrepancy. Using this leg-length equalization method, the length of the modular femoral head neck was chosen preoperatively, rather than using soft tissue tension across the prosthetic hip joint to determine whether the leg lengths were equal. Postoperative leg lengths were determined radiologically from a measurement from the acetabular teardrop to the lesser trochanter. Ninety-seven percent of the patients had a postoperative leg-length discrepancy that was less than 1 cm, and 86% had a leg-length difference that was 6 mm (1/4 inch) or less. The average postoperative discrepancy for these 351 patients was 1 mm.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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