A New Hip for the Adult Who had a Childhood Hip InfectionIn rare cases, infections can invade a child's hip joint. The result is a hip joint that does not grow and develop properly. These children commonly grow up to need a surgery called total hip replacement (THR).
But THR is not a simple surgery in patients who had childhood hip infections. After infection, the bones that form the hip may be weak and poorly shaped. The muscles and other tissues around the hip may also have become tight and weak. Doctors are concerned about the possibility of reinfection. And these patients need THR when they are still young and active, making problems after surgery more likely.
These doctors followed up on 170 THR surgeries done in patients who had childhood hip infections. The patients' average age when they had the hip infection was seven. Their average age when they had THR was about 42. The authors looked at the THR results for 10 years after the surgeries. They write in detail about the different types of hip damage, implants, and results. Here are some highlights:
The authors note that it is especially important to wait for 10 years after the original infection before attempting surgery. They also stress that doctors must test the joint for any lingering infection before doing THR.
Young-Hoo Kim, MD, et al. Total Hip Arthroplasty in Adult Patients Who Had Childhood Infection of the Hip. In The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. February 2003. Vol. 85-A. No. 2. Pp. 198-204.
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