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The Teardrop in Congenital Dislocation of the Hip Diagnosed Late. A Quantitative Study*


Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery - American Volume: July 1996 - Volume 78 - Issue 7 - p 1048–55

We retrospectively reviewed the radiographs of the pelvis and hips of forty-five patients who had unilateral congenital dislocation of the hip treated with closed reduction and application of a cast without subsequent operations. The radiographs were made at the time of the initial diagnosis, two years after the reduction, when the child was ten years old, and at skeletal maturity. The width, shape, and type of the teardrop; the thickness of the acetabular floor; the acetabular index; the center-edge angle; the articulotrochanteric distance; and the Severin class at maturity were measured in the dislocated and contralateral, normal hips. At the time of the initial diagnosis, a well defined teardrop was seen in thirty-six (80 per cent) of the normal hips and in seven (16 per cent) of the dislocated hips. There was no difference in the width of the teardrop in the seven dislocated hips compared with that in the normal hips, although the v-shaped and crossed types of teardrops were more frequent in the dislocated hips. The v shape was not observed in the normal hips but was seen in sixteen dislocated hips two years after the reduction and in twelve dislocated hips when the children were ten years old. The superior and inferior widths of the teardrop of the dislocated hips were significantly greater than those of the normal hips (p < 0.001 and p < 0.05, respectively) when the children were ten years old. The hips with residual acetabular dysplasia had a v-shaped teardrop, widening of the superior width of the teardrop, and thickening of the acetabular floor. These hips, which were usually Severin class IV at the time of skeletal maturity, had a poor prognosis in adult life.

†Hospital Nino Jesus, Menendez Pelayo 65, 28009-Madrid, Spain.

‡Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, 200 Hawkins Drive, 1012-1 Roy Carver Pavilion, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1088.

Copyright 1996 by The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Incorporated
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