Outcomes After Salvage Procedures for the Painful Dislocated Hip in Cerebral Palsy

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The painful dislocated hip in the setting of cerebral palsy is a challenging problem. Many surgical procedures have been reported to treat this condition with varying success rates. The purpose of this study is to retrospectively evaluate and compare the outcomes of 3 different surgical procedures performed at our institution for pain relief in patients with spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy and painful dislocated hips.


A retrospective chart review of the surgical procedures performed by 5 surgeons for spastic, painful dislocated hips from 1997 to 2010 was performed. The procedures identified were (1) proximal femoral resection arthroplasty (PFRA); (2) subtrochanteric valgus osteotomy (SVO) with femoral head resection; and (3) proximal femur prosthetic interposition arthroplasty (PFIA) using a humeral prosthesis. Outcomes based on pain and range of motion were determined to be excellent, good, fair, or poor by predetermined criteria.


Forty-four index surgeries and 14 revision surgeries in 33 patients with an average follow-up of 49 months met the inclusion criteria. Of the index surgeries, 12 hips were treated with a PFRA, 21 with a SVO, and 11 with a PFIA. An excellent or good result was noted in 67% of PFRAs, 67% of SVOs, and 73% of PFIAs. No statistical significance between these procedures was achieved. The 14 revisions were performed because of a poor result from previous surgery, demonstrating a 24% reoperation rate overall. No patients classified as having a fair result underwent revision surgery. All patients receiving revision surgery were eventually classified as having an excellent or good result.


Surgical treatment for the painful, dislocated hip in the setting of spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy remains unsettled. There continue to be a large percentage of failures despite the variety of surgical techniques designed to treat this problem. These failures can be managed, however, and eventually resulted in a good outcome. We demonstrated a trend toward better outcomes with a PFIA, but further study should be conducted to prove statistical significance.

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