Schuh A, Zeiler G, Werber S.
Orthopadische Klinik Rummelsberg, Schwarzenbruck.
INTRODUCTION. With the predictably good outcome of total hip arthroplasty today (THA), hip arthrodesis currently has limited indications. Over the long term, however, most patients develop secondary degenerative arthritis in the spine, contralateral hip, and ipsilateral knee due to overloading. The deteriorating condition of these joints eventually causes the onset of pain, which often requires conversion of a fused hip to a THA. The results and experiences of conversions of a hip arthrodesis into a THA are reported.
METHODS. Between 1 January 1985 and 31 December 2001 conversion of a previously performed arthrodesis of the hip to THA was carried out in a total of 45 patients; 34 patients could be followed up after the conversion to THA after a mean of 77.5 months (min.: 24, max.: 208). The primary indications for the conversion were low back pain ( n=21) and ipsilateral knee pain ( n=13).
RESULTS. The mean age at the time of THA was 75.3 years (min.: 32, max.: 74). The mean time interval between the arthrodesis and the conversion to THA was 30.4 years (min.: 5, max.: 66). Of 34 hips, 29 (85%) were either pain free or had minimal pain. Complications included one persisting sciatic nerve palsy, two superficial infections, two periprosthetic fractures, and two heterotopic ossifications IV degrees with one recurrence of ankylosis and one marked reduction of motion. Revision arthroplasty was performed in four hips. Postoperatively 7 patients showed no limping, 11 showed a slight limp, and 17 a pronounced limp. Recurrent dislocations occurred in one patient.
CONCLUSION. We conclude that this operation can lead to satisfactory results even after a long duration of the arthrodesis. There is a high rate of complications after conversion of a hip arthrodesis to a total hip arthroplasty. These issues must be carefully considered and discussed with the patient before any conversion procedure.
Orthopade. 2004 Oct 27