JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Fifty-year follow-up of late-detected hip dislocation: clinical and radiographic outcomes for seventy-one patients treated with traction to obtain gradual closed reduction.

BACKGROUND: There is little knowledge concerning outcomes for middle-aged adults who were treated for late-detected developmental dislocation of the hip. The aims of this retrospective study were to evaluate the fifty-year clinical and radiographic results after closed reduction and to identify prognostic factors.

METHODS: Seventy-one patients (ninety hips) with late-detected hip dislocation treated between 1958 and 1962 were assessed clinically and radiographically. The primary treatment was skin traction to obtain a gradual closed reduction. The mean age of the patients at the time of the long-term radiographic examination was 51.6 years (range, forty-four to fifty-five years).

RESULTS: A stable reduction was achieved in eighty-three hips. The mean age at reduction was 1.7 years (range, 0.3 to 5.4 years). Traction failed in six patients (seven hips [8%]), for whom an open reduction was necessary. Twenty-six patients (thirty hips) underwent late surgical procedures because of residual hip dysplasia. A good long-term clinical outcome (a Harris hip score of ≥85 points) after closed reduction was assessed for fifty-two (63%) of the hips. A satisfactory radiographic outcome (no osteoarthritis) was found for fifty-six (67%) of the hips. Osteoarthritis had developed in twenty-seven (33%) of the hips, of which nineteen had undergone total hip replacement, performed at a mean patient age of 43.7 years (range, thirty-one to fifty-four years). Risk factors for osteoarthritis were an older age at the time of reduction, osteonecrosis of the femoral head, residual subluxation, a high acetabular index during childhood, and a classification of Severin grades III or IV at skeletal maturity. A survival analysis showed a reduction in "surviving" hips (no total hip replacement) from 99% at a patient age of thirty years to 74% at the age of fifty-two years.

CONCLUSIONS: With a mean follow-up of fifty years, the clinical and radiographic outcomes after gradual closed reduction by skin traction were satisfactory in approximately two-thirds of eighty-three hips. The most important independent risk factors for a poor long-term outcome were an age of eighteen months or older at the time of reduction, residual subluxation, and osteonecrosis.

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