Radiodense Lines and Subclinical Infection in Pediatric Hip Surgery

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A subtle radiolucency with surrounding sclerosis was seen in 14 of 129 hip implant removals in 90 children. Five of these implants were cultured, and all five grew Staphylococcus epidermidis. The other nine were not cultured. None of the 14 had sequela. These radiographic findings should prompt suspicion of infection even in the absence of clinical or laboratory findings; they should also prompt hardware removal.

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