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J Bone Joint Surg Br. 1996 Jul;78(4):631-5.

Avascular necrosis and the Pavlik harness. The incidence of avascular necrosis in three types of congenital dislocation of the hip as classified by ultrasound.

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Department of Orthopaedics, Shiga Medical Centre for Children, Japan.


We analysed the incidence of avascular necrosis in 101 hips of 90 infants with congenital dislocation treated with Pavlik harness and followed up for more than one year. Using ultrasonography in the flexed-abducted position the hips were classified as type A when the femora head was displaced posteriorly, but within the socket and making contact with the posterior inner wall of the acetabulum; type B when it was in contact with the posterior margin of the acetabulum, with its centre at this level or anterior to it; and type C when it was displaced out of the socket, with its centre posterior to the posterior rim of the acetabulum. Eighty-seven hips were reduced by the harness (86%), and seven of these developed avascular necrosis (8%). All 69 hips with type-A dislocation were reduced and only one (1.4%) showed slight avascular necrosis. Eighteen (78.3%) of 23 hips with type-B dislocation were reduced, and six developed avascular necrosis (33.3%). In one hip, the femoral head was severely damaged. None of the nine hips with type-C dislocation was reduced in the harness. We concluded that the Pavlik harness is indicated for type-A but not for type-B or type-C dislocations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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