Sickle cell disease (SCD) is the most common cause of osteonecrosis of the femoral head (ONFH) during childhood. The natural history of ONFH in SCD is poor with progression to femoral head collapse and deformity that ultimately may lead to hip osteoarthritis. Multiple epiphyseal drilling with autologous bone marrow implantation may enhance the mechanism of osteogenic repair. The purpose of this study was to describe early clinical and radiographic outcomes in pediatric patients with ONFH secondary to SCD after multiple epiphyseal drilling and AMBI.
Nine boys and 2 girls (14 hips) with a mean age of 12.7 years (range, 9.7-18 y) at the time of surgery were evaluated. All patients were followed for at least 1 year after surgery and the mean duration of follow-up was 25 months (range, 12-47 mo). Clinical outcome was assessed by the pain domain from the Children’s Hospital Oakland Hip Evaluation Scale and by hip range of motion. The extent of femoral head involvement was assessed by measuring the arc of necrosis and the amount of collapse on anteroposterior and frog lateral radiographs. The University of Pennsylvania system was used to assess the osteonecrosis stage. Wilcoxon signed-rank tests were used to compare radiographic and clinical variables.
Compared with preoperative measures, multiple epiphyseal drilling with AMBI resulted in significant improvement in pain (P=0.0010), internal hip rotation (P=0.0005), external hip rotation (P=0.0010), and flexion (P=0.0015). The amount of lateral collapse (P=0.4609), anterior collapse (P=0.4258), and the arc of necrosis (P=0.2251) were not significant after surgery. The majority of the hips had either improvement in the Steinberg stage of disease (4/14 hips) or no further progression (7/14 hips) at the latest follow-up. There were no surgical complications.
Multiple epiphyseal drilling with autologous bone marrow cell implantation allows for short-term clinical improvement and limits radiographic progression of ONFH associated with SCD in children with minimal morbidity.
Level of Evidence:
Level IV—retrospective case series.