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J Bone Joint Surg Br. 2003 Nov;85(8):1173-7.

Closed reduction of developmental dislocation of the hip by prolonged traction.

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Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Tohoku University School of Medicine, National Sendai Hospital, Japan.


The efficacy of traction before an attempted closed reduction for patients with developmental dislocation of the hip remains controversial. We treated 55 children (62 dislocations of the hip) by preliminary, prolonged traction for a mean of eight weeks. All were followed up for at least two years in order to observe the development of any avascular changes within the femoral head. Of the 55 children, 27 (31 dislocations) were followed up until they were over six years of age. Fifty-seven of the 62 hips (92%) showed a successful closed reduction. Only one had radiological evidence of avascular necrosis of the femoral head. Of the 31 hips which were followed up to over six years of age, 15 (48%) showed residual subluxation. Our method of prolonged preliminary traction leads to a high rate of successful closed reduction, a low incidence of avascular necrosis and a reduced need for secondary operations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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