Arthrogryposis multiplex congenita (AMC) is a rare disease with multiple joint contractures.It is widely believed that bilaterally dislocated hips should not be reduced since movement is satisfactory and open reduction has had poor results. Since 1977 we have performed a new method of open reduction using an extensive anterolateral approach on ten hips in five children with AMC. The mean age at surgery was 31.5 months (17 to 64) and the mean follow-up was 11.8 years (3.8 to 19.5).
At the final follow-up all children walked without crutches or canes. Two managed independently, one required a long leg brace and two had short leg braces because of knee and/or foot problems. The clinical results were good in eight hips and fair in two and on the Severin classification seven hips were rated as good (group I or group II).
We recommend the extensive anterolateral approach for unilateral or bilateral dislocation of the hip in children with arthrogryposis or developmental dislocation of the hip.
J Bone Joint Surg [Br] 1998;80-B:636-40.