Arthroscopic reduction of the dislocated hip in infants

O. Eberhardt, F. F. Fernandez, T. Wirth


We present our early experience of arthroscopic reduction of the dislocated hip in very young infants with developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH).

Eight dislocated hips, which had failed attempts at closed reduction, were treated by arthroscopy of the hip in five children with a mean age of 5.8 months (4 to 7). A two-portal technique was used, with a medial sub-adductor portal for a 2.7 mm cannulated system with a 70° arthroscope and an anterolateral portal for the instruments. Following evaluation of the key intra-articular structures, the hypertrophic ligamentum teres and acetabular pulvinar were resected, and a limited release of the capsule was performed prior to reduction of the hip. All hips were reduced by a single arthroscopic procedure, the reduction being confirmed on MRI scan. None of the hips had an inverted labrum. The greatest obstacle to reduction was a constriction of the capsule. At a mean follow-up of 13.2 months (9 to 24), all eight hips remained stable. Three developed avascular necrosis. The mean acetabular index decreased from 35.5° (30° to 40°) pre-operatively to 23.3° (17° to 28°).

This study demonstrates that arthroscopic reduction is feasible using two standardised portals. Longer follow-up studies are necessary to evaluate the functional results.


  • No benefits in any form have been received or will be received from a commercial party related directly or indirectly to the subject of this article.

  • Received October 16, 2011.
  • Accepted February 20, 2012.
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