Post-operative neuropathy after total hip arthroplasty

E P Su
Bone & Joint Journal 2017, 99-B (1 Suppl): 46-49
Nerve palsy is a well-described complication following total hip arthroplasty, but is highly distressing and disabling. A nerve palsy may cause difficulty with the post-operative rehabilitation, and overall mobility of the patient. Nerve palsy may result from compression and tension to the affected nerve(s) during the course of the operation via surgical manipulation and retractor placement, tension from limb lengthening or compression from post-operative hematoma. In the literature, hip dysplasia, lengthening of the leg, the use of an uncemented femoral component, and female gender are associated with a greater risk of nerve palsy. We examined our experience at a high-volume, tertiary care referral centre, and found an overall incidence of 0.3% out of 39 056 primary hip arthroplasties. Risk factors found to be associated with the incidence of nerve palsy at our institution included the presence of spinal stenosis or lumbar disc disease, age younger than 50, and smoking. If a nerve palsy is diagnosed, imaging is mandatory and surgical evacuation or compressive haematomas may be beneficial. As palsies are slow to recover, supportive care such as bracing, therapy, and reassurance are the mainstays of treatment. Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2017;99-B(1 Supple A):46-9.

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