A low-volume surgeon is an independent risk factor for leg length discrepancy after primary total hip arthroplasty: a case-control study
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Leg length discrepancy (LLD) is one of the bothersome complications that reduce patient satisfaction after total hip arthroplasty (THA). This study aimed to investigate the independent risk factors of LLD after primary THA.
This is a case-control study of 163 THAs for 163 patients at our institution between April 2015 and March 2018. The relevant data about the general characteristics of the patients (age, sex, body mass index, and diagnosis), surgery (surgical approach, type of femoral stem fixation, and surgeon volume), and radiological findings (Dorr classification and pre-operative LLD) were reviewed to identify the risk factors of ≥ 5 mm post-operative LLD according to radiological measurement and to calculate odds ratios (OR) via logistic regression analysis.
The median (interquartile) absolute value of post-operative LLD was 3.9 (2.3–7.4) mm, and 57 (35.0%) patients had LLD of ≥ 5 mm. After controlling for possible confounders, a low-volume surgeon was considered the only independent risk factor of post-operative LLD (adjusted OR: 8.26; 95% confidence interval: 3.48, 19.60; P < 0.001). Among the 103 patients performed by high-volume surgeons, 82 (79.6%) had LLD of < 5 mm, whereas among the 60 patients performed by low-volume surgeons, only 24 (40.0%) achieved LLD of < 5 mm (P < 0.001).
A low-volume surgeon is associated with an increased risk of a post-operative LLD after primary THA, and the importance of measurements should be recognized to prevent post-operative LLD and achieve optimal outcomes. Moreover, surgeons must inform patients about the risk of developing LLD pre-operatively.
KeywordsPrimary total hip arthroplasty Leg length discrepancy Surgeon volume
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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