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Factors influencing joint-preserving operations in the treatment of the late stages of osteoarthritis of the hip

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Between November 1983 and December 1992, 136 hips (119 patients) with coxarthritis were operated on using joint-preserving techniques based on the rationale of Pauwels’ osteotomy. The criterion for selection was a patient in whom the height of the joint space in the weight-bearing area of the hip was less than 1 mm. The mean age at operation was 48 years and the mean follow-up 109 months (60 to 171). Hips were categorised using Bombelli’s classification of osteoarthritis, into atrophic and non-atrophic types. The endpoint was defined as that at which the height of the joint space became less than 1 mm again. The Kaplan-Meier curve showed that the rate of survival of the non-atrophic group was significantly better than that of the atrophic group. Cox’s proportional hazard model indicated that the factors influencing the results of joint-preserving operations included Bombelli’s classification, postoperative incongruence of the joint and the height of the joint space.

Correspondence should be sent to Dr S. Ohsawa.

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