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J Bone Joint Surg Br. 1982;64(3):289-94.

Dislocation of the hip in trisomy 21.


Almost one child in twenty with trisomy 21 will develop spontaneous dislocation of the hip between learning to walk and the age of 10 years. After the age of two years spontaneous habitual dislocation may occur. If left untreated, acute dislocation, subluxation and fixed dislocation follow in sequence. The natural history of the condition is described and the clinical and radiological features of 45 dislocations in 28 patients are presented. Nineteen had received no treatment. The most effective treatment was found to be pelvic or femoral osteotomy, combined with capsular plication, carried out in the phase of habitual dislocation. Once subluxation or fixed dislocation was present, the results of operation were poor and it is not recommended. All patients, even if left untreated, remain mobile. Pain is not a prominent feature.

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