Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research®

, Volume 470, Issue 9, pp 2441–2449 | Cite as

Low Early Failure Rates Using a Surgical Dislocation Approach in Healed Legg-Calvé-Perthes Disease

  • Benjamin J. Shore
  • Eduardo N. Novais
  • Michael B. Millis
  • Young-Jo Kim
Symposium: Legg-Calvé-Perthes Disease: Where Do We Stand After 100 Years?



Hip deformity secondary to Legg-Calvé Perthes disease (LCPD) may result in femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) and ultimately osteoarthritis. Observations made with the surgical hip dislocation approach have improved our understanding of the pathologic mechanics of FAI. However, owing to concerns about complications related to the vascularity, the role of surgical hip dislocation in the treatment of healed LCPD remains controversial.


We present an algorithm to treat deformities associated with healed LCPD and asked (1) whether femoral head-neck osteochondroplasty and other procedures performed with the surgical hip dislocation approach provide short-term clinical improvement; and (2) is the complication rate low enough to be acceptable.


We retrospectively reviewed 29 patients (19 males, 10 females; mean age, 17 years; range, 9–35 years) with symptomatic LCPD between 2001 and 2009. All patients underwent a surgical hip dislocation approach and femoral head-neck osteochondroplasty and 26 patients had 37 additional procedures performed. Clinical improvement was assessed using the WOMAC index. The minimum followup was 12 months (mean, 3 years; range, 12–70 months).


WOMAC scores improved at final followup (8 to 4 for pain, 21 to 13 for function, and 4 to 2 for the stiffness subscales). No patients had osteonecrosis, implant failure, deep infection, or nonunion. Three patients underwent THA at 1, 3, and 6 years after their index procedure.


Using the surgical hip dislocation approach as a tool to dynamically inspect the hip for causes of FAI, we were able to perform a variety of procedures to treat the complex deformities of healed LCPD. In the short term, we found improvement in WOMAC scores with a low complication rate.

Level of Evidence

Level IV, therapeutic study. See Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.


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Copyright information

© The Association of Bone and Joint Surgeons® 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Benjamin J. Shore
    • 1
  • Eduardo N. Novais
    • 1
  • Michael B. Millis
    • 1
  • Young-Jo Kim
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Orthopaedic Surgery Harvard Medical School, Children’s Hospital BostonBostonUSA

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