Management of Neuromuscular Hip Dysplasia in Children With Cerebral Palsy: Lessons and Challenges

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Optimal clinical decision making and surgical management of hip dysplasia in children with cerebral palsy (CP) requires an understanding of the underlying pathophysiology (pathomechanics and pathoanatomy), incidence, and natural history. The incidence of hip dysplasia in children with CP is directly related to the degree of motor impairment. A subluxated or dislocated hip in a child with CP can compromise the quality of life for both the child and their caregivers. The goal of this article is to highlight the events over the last 25 years that have had the greatest impact on the management of hip dysplasia in children with CP. It is my opinion that the 2 most significant advances during this time have been the development of a classification system based upon motor impairment (the Gross Motor Function Classification System), and the development of surveillance programs for hip dysplasia in children with CP. This article will contrast neuromuscular hip dysplasia with developmental dysplasia of the hip. It will be shown how the development and utilization of the Gross Motor Function Classification System has contributed to our understanding of the epidemiology and natural history of hip dysplasia in children with CP, and to the assessment of outcomes following surgical management. The impact of hip surveillance programs on early soft tissue surgeries, skeletal hip reconstructions, and the incidence of hip dislocations and salvage surgeries will be reviewed. Challenges in the implementation of hip surveillance programs in resource poor and decentralized health care delivery systems will be considered, and innovative approaches identified.

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