Osteonecrosis of the hip in the sickle-cell diseases. Treatment and complications.

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The results of arthroplasty of the hip and other surgical procedures that were performed in nine patients who had sickle-cell disease or sickle-cell trait and osteonecrosis of the femoral head were not very satisfactory. After an average duration of follow-up of 6.5 years (range, two to 25.7 years), the complications were many and severe. Of eight arthroplasties that were done for replacement of a joint, five required early revision or excision: two, because of mechanical loosening; two, because of sepsis; and one, due to a fracture of the prosthetic stem. There was excessive perioperative blood loss, prolonged hospitalization, and medical or surgical complications in all patients, including the three who had sickle-cell trait and only slight manifestations of systemic disease. A survivorship analysis of this series indicated that a failure rate of 50 per cent could be expected by 5.4 years postoperatively.

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