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The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 87-B, Issue 6 | Pages 863 - 866
1 Jun 2005
Nagarajah K Aslam N McLardy Smith P McNally M

We describe a technique of ‘cross-hip distraction’ to reduce a dislocated hip with subsequent reconstruction of the joint for septic arthritis with extensive femoral osteomyelitis. A 27-year-old woman presented with a dislocated, collapsed femoral head and chronic osteomyelitis of the femur. Examination revealed a leg-length discrepancy of 7 cm and an irritable hip. A staged technique was used with primary clearance of osteomyelitis and secondary reconstruction of the hip. A cross-hip monolateral external fixator was used to establish normal anatomy followed by an arthroplasty. A good functional outcome was achieved. The use of cross-hip distraction avoids soft-tissue and nerve damage and achieved improved abductor function before arthroplasty.