Hip Surveillance for Children With Cerebral Palsy: A Survey of the POSNA Membership

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Abstract

Background:

Currently, hip surveillance programs for children with cerebral palsy exist in Europe, Australasia, and parts of Canada, but a neuromuscular hip surveillance program has yet to be adopted in the United States. The purpose of this study was to report the current orthopaedic practice of hip surveillance in children with cerebral palsy, identify areas of practice variation, and suggest steps moving forward to generate guidelines for national neuromuscular hip surveillance.

Methods:

The entire membership of the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America (POSNA) was surveyed in 2016 for information regarding their practice for hip surveillance in children with cerebral palsy. Detailed information regarding timing, frequency, and practice of hip surveillance was obtained in answers to 26 different questions.

Results:

A survey response rate of 27% was obtained (350/1300 members) during the study period. The majority of respondents treated pediatric patients exclusively (97%), worked in an academic practice (70%), and was affiliated with a university (76%). In total, 18% (69/350) of respondents followed a regular cerebral palsy hip surveillance program, about half of whom (44%, 30/69) had adopted the Australian guidelines. Respondents agreed that a dislocated hip in a child with cerebral palsy was painful (90% agreement) and should be prevented by hip surveillance (93% agreement). Furthermore, 93% of respondents indicated they would follow a national surveillance program if one was in place. Age (79%), Gross Motor Function Classification System (81%), and migration percentage (MP) (78%) were all identified as critical elements to a hip surveillance program. The majority of respondents felt that a hip “at risk” for hip displacement had a MP between 20% and 30% (57% of respondents), whereas surgery should be utilized once the MP exceeded 40% (50% of respondents).

Conclusions:

Results from this survey demonstrate 90% of respondents agree that a dislocated hip could be painful and 93% would follow a national surveillance program if available. At a societal level, we have the ability to standardize cerebral palsy hip surveillance, thereby decreasing practice variation and improving quality of care delivery.

Levels of Evidence:

Level V.

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