Deficiency of the abductor mechanism is a well-recognised cause of pain and limping after total hip replacement (THR). This can be found incidentally at the time of surgery, or it may arise as a result of damage to the superior gluteal nerve intra-operatively, or after surgery owing to mechanical failure of the abductor muscle repair or its detachment from the greater trochanter. The incidence of abductor failure has been reported as high as 20% in some studies. The management of this condition remains a dilemma for the treating surgeon. We review the current state of knowledge concerning post-THR abductor deficiency, including the aetiology, diagnosis and management, and the outcomes of surgery for this condition.
Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2013;95-B:343–7.
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.
This article was primary edited by D. Rowley and first-proof edited by G. Scott.
- Received October 13, 2012.
- Accepted December 11, 2012.
- ©2013 The British Editorial Society of Bone & Joint Surgery