Formal repair of the posterior capsule and short external rotator tendons has been described as a surgical approach to reduce the incidence of posterior dislocation after posterolateral surgical approach to primary total hip replacement. The purpose of the current study was to compare the incidence of early posterior dislocation (within the first 6 months after surgery) using a complete posterior capsulectomy versus a formal posterior capsular repair. In patients with a complete posterior capsulectomy, 52 of 1078 primary total hip replacements (4.8%) had an early posterior dislocation. In patients with posterior capsular repair, three of 437 primary total hip replacements (0.7%) had an early posterior dislocation. This difference was statistically significant. The only complication in the capsular repair group was an avulsion fracture of the greater trochanter in four of 437 total hip replacements (0.9%).
From the New Mexico Center for Joint Replacement Surgery, Albuquerque, NM.
Reprint requests to Richard E. White, Jr., MD, 201 Cedar Southeast, Suite 6600, Albuquerque, NM 87106.