Three-dimensional MRI Analysis of Femoral Head Remodeling After Reduction in Patients With Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip

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Previous reports on patients with developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH) showed that the prereduced femoral head was notably smaller and more nonspherical than the intact head, with growth failure observed at the proximal posteromedial area. We evaluated the shape of the femoral head cartilage in patients with DDH before and after reduction, with size and sphericity assessed using 3-dimensional (3D) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).


We studied 10 patients with unilateral DDH (all female) who underwent closed reduction. Patients with avascular necrosis of the femoral head on the plain radiograph 1 year after reduction were excluded. 3D MRI was performed before reduction and after reduction, at 2 years of age. 3D-image analysis software was used to reconstruct the multiplanes. After setting the axial, coronal, and sagittal planes in the software (based on the femoral shaft and neck axes), the smallest sphere that included the femoral head cartilage was drawn, the diameter was measured, and the center of the sphere was defined as the femoral head center. We measured the distance between the center and cartilage surface every 30 degrees on the 3 reconstructed planes. Sphericity of the femoral head was calculated using a ratio (the distance divided by each radius) and compared between prereduction and postreduction.


The mean patient age was 7±3 and 26±3 months at the first and second MRI, respectively. The mean duration between the reduction and second MRI was 18±3 months. The femoral head diameter was 26.7±1.5 and 26.0±1.6 mm on the diseased and intact sides, respectively (P=0.069). The ratios of the posteromedial area on the axial plane and the proximoposterior area on the sagittal plane after reduction were significantly larger than before reduction (P<0.01).


We demonstrated that the size of the reduced femoral head was nearly equal to that of the intact femoral head and that the growth failure area of the head before reduction, in the proximal posteromedial area, was remodeled after reduction.

Level of Evidence:

Level IV—case series.

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