Treatment of congenital dislocation of the hip by the Pavlik harness. Mechanism of reduction and usage.

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The Pavlik harness was used in the treatment of complete congenital dislocation of one or both hips in a series of infants, on either an outpatient or an inpatient basis. The results in the two groups were compared. For the children treated as outpatients the incidence of avascular necrosis of the femoral head was 7.2 per cent and for the group treated as inpatients the rate was 28 per cent. Application of the Pavlik harness allowed reduction of the hip by shifting the femoral head first to the posterior part of the acetabulum through flexion of the hip, followed by movement of the femoral head anteriorly into the acetabulum through abduction of the hip, which is possible because of stretching of the adductor muscles by the weight of the lower extremity. When the reduction is obtained by forced abduction there is a greater danger of avascular necrosis of the femoral head.

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