Objective : Traumatic dislocation and fracture-dislocation of the hip is an absolute orthopedic emergency that is steadily increasing in incidence. Early recognition and prompt, stable reduction is the essence of successful management. A delay in recognition and reduction leads to preventable complications and morbidity. The purpose of this retrospective study is to identify prognostic factors that predict long-term outcome after hip dislocation.
Methods : Between 1980 and 1994, 107 patients with traumatic dislocation of the hips were treated, and 62 are reviewed in this study. There were 57 posterior fracture-dislocations and 5 anterior-obturator dislocations. All of the patients’ charts were reviewed. The physical examinations and radiologic controls of the patients who were called for last follow-up examination were performed by the first two authors (V.Ş. and E.K.). Anterior and posterior fracture-dislocations were classified according to the classification system developed by Steward and Milford and femoral head fractures were classified according to the Pipkin classification. All of the hips were classified as very good, good, medium, fair, and poor according to the functional evaluation system described by Merle d’Aubigne. Statistical analysis of the results was performed.
Results : There were 47 male patients and 15 female patients, with ages ranging from 14 to 72 years (mean, 34.5 years). Traffic accidents constituted the leading cause of traumatic dislocation in this series (52 cases [83.9%]). Associated injuries were found in 44 cases (71%). Fifty patients were treated with closed reduction, and 12 patients were treated with open reduction. Thirty-five hips (56.5%) were reduced within 12 hours. Full weight-bearing was resumed between 2 and 10 weeks (average, 8 weeks) after injury. In follow-up periods ranging from 3.6 years to 18.4 years (mean, 9.6 years), 44 patients (71%) had very good or good to medium results. Ten patients (16.1%) developed late posttraumatic osteoarthritis of the hip, and 5 patients (9.6%) developed osteonecrosis of the femoral head. In this study, it is found that the time between injury and reduction and the associated injuries are the most important factors in long-term prognosis.
Conclusion : We believe that good results were obtained in patients with early, stable, and accurate reductions by either closed or open methods. Concentric reduction absolutely should be confirmed by radiographs of the pelvis and, if necessary, by computed tomographic scan. The routine use of seat belts could have prevented many of these injuries.