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General Orthopaedics


Current Concepts in Joint Replacement (CCJR) – Spring 2015


Abductor deficiency after THA can result from proximal femoral bone loss, trochanteric avulsion, muscle destruction associated with infection, pseudotumor, ALTR to metal debris, or other causes. Whiteside has described a transfer of the tensor muscle and anterior gluteus maximus to the greater trochanter for treatment of absent abductors after THA. Transposition of the tensor muscle requires raising an anterior soft tissue flap to the lever of the interval between the tensor muscle and sartorius, which is the same interval used in an anterior approach to the hip. The muscle is transected distally and transposed posteriorly to attach to the proximal femur. This can result in soft tissue redundancy between the posterior tensor muscle and anterior gluteus maximus. This interval is separated and the anterior gluteus maximis also attached to the proximal femur.

Relatively large unconstrained (36 mm heads) were not found to be effective in controlling dislocation in patients with abductor deficiency. In our practice, 11 patients with abductor deficiency were treated with Whiteside's tensor muscle transfer and an unconstrained large diameter femoral head. The mean pre-operative abductor strength was 2.2 and improved to 3.2 post-operatively. One patient sustained a dislocation four weeks after surgery which was treated with open reduction. All of the other hips have remained stable. The combination of a large head and tensor muscle transposition may be a viable alternative to use of a fully constrained component in patients with deficient abductors after THA.