Osteochondritis dissecans of the femoral head

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Abstract.Seven patients with symptomatic osteochondritic lesions of the femoral head are presented. All were male with a mean age of 26 years (16 - 33 years). Two distinct morphologic appearances of the hip joint could be identified. Five patients presented with a coxa valga deformity, four of whom had signs of epiphyseal dysplasia. There were 2 patients whose hips appeared normal apart from the osteochondrontic lesions. In both cases an additional acetabular rim lesion due to a reproducible femoro-acetabular impingement was diagnosed at arthrotomy. This may have acted as the underlying cause of osteochondritis dissecans in these cases.All 7 patients underwent surgical treatment. An intertrochanteric osteotomy (I.O.) alone was performed in 2 patients. Follow-up of these patients at 6.5 and 8.5 years after surgery revealed that the osteochondritic lesions had not healed and one individual remained symptomatic. In the remaining 5 patients, treatment consisted of femoral head dislocation and screw fixation of the osteochondritic lesion. This was combined with an I.O. in two of these patients for coxa valga and osteoplasty of a broad femoral neck in 2 other patients. All lesions had healed at an average follow-up of 4.3 years (2 8.5 years). Three patients were asymptomatic and 2 patients had minor residual pain. No progressive osteoarthritic changes or signs of avascular necrosis of the femoral head were observed.

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