Osteonecrosis is a disease with a wide ranging etiology and poorly understood pathogenesis seen commonly in young patients. Core decompression has historically been used in patients with small-sized or medium-sized precollapse lesions in an attempt to forestall disease progression. Typically, an 8-10 mm wide cannula trephine is used to do this procedure. The authors report on a new technique using multiple small drillings with a 3-mm Steinman pin to effectuate the core decompression. In this report, there were 32 of 45 hips (71%; 35 patients) with a successful clinical result at a mean followup of 2 years (range, 20-39 months). Twenty four of 30 Stage I hips (80%; 23 patients) had successful outcomes compared with 8 of 15 Stage II hips (57%; 12 patients) with no surgical complications occurring with this technique. This procedure is technically straightforward and led to minimal morbidity with no surgical complications. It may be effective in delaying the need for total hip arthroplasty in young patients with early (precollapse) stages of femoral head osteonecrosis.
From the Sinai Hospital of Baltimore, Rubin Institute for Advanced Orthopaedics, Center for Joint Preservation and Reconstruction, Baltimore, MD.
Each author certifies that his institution has approved the human protocol for this investigation and that all investigations were conducted in conformity with ethical principles of research.
Correspondence to: Michael A. Mont, MD, Sinai Hospital of Baltimore, Rubin Institute for Advanced Orthopaedics, Center for Joint Preservation and Reconstruction, 2401 West Belvedere Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21215. Phone: 410-601-8500; Fax: 410-601-8501; E-mail: Rhondamont@aol.com.