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Int Orthop. 2006 Aug;30(4):224-7. Epub 2006 Mar 7.

Complications after posterior dislocation of the hip.

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Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Christian Medical College & Hospital, Ludhiana, Punjab, India.


Thirty-five consecutive patients with unilateral posterior dislocation of the hip were studied for complications at an average follow-up of 4.6 years (range 2-10 years). Thompson-Epstein type IV dislocation was most frequent (10/35), reflecting an increase in high-speed motor vehicles in the developing countries. It is also a severe injury that leads to a maximum number of complications, which include avascular necrosis, osteoarthosis, sciatic nerve injury and heterotrophic ossification. Avascular necrosis and osteoarthritis of the hip were observed maximally in type IV patients, even when reduction was achieved in less than twelve hours and may reflect the severity of initial injury. Heterotrophic ossification was observed in five of the ten patients with type IV dislocation and was associated with multiple attempts at reduction. Sciatic nerve injury did not recover completely in all cases, especially when reduction was delayed over twelve hours. Observing that the greatest numbers of complications were seen among patients with type IV dislocations, it may be prudent to warn such individuals about the likely prognosis at the outset, especially in today's world when the demands and expectations are high.

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