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Management and outcome of the dislocated hip hemiarthroplasty

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This study describes and compares the operative management and outcomes in a consecutive case series of patients with dislocated hemiarthroplasties of the hip, and compares outcomes with those of patients not sustaining a dislocation.

Patients and Methods

Of 3326 consecutive patients treated with hemiarthroplasty for fractured neck of femur, 46 (1.4%) sustained dislocations. Of the 46 dislocations, there were 37 female patients (80.4%) and nine male patients (19.6%) with a mean age of 83.8 years (66 to 100). Operative intervention for each, and subsequent dislocations, were recorded. The following outcome measures were recorded: dislocation; mortality up to one-year post-injury; additional surgery; residential status; mobility; and pain score at one year.


Of 43 dislocations, 30 (70%) occurred within one month and 42 (98%) occurred within three months of hip fracture surgery. Seven (16%) of these patients were treated with a single closed reduction and sustained no further dislocations. Four (9%) were treated with open reduction and experienced no further dislocations. Three (7%) hips were left dislocated and the remaining 32 (74%) patients required additional surgery of further closed reduction, revision, or excision arthroplasty. The one-year mortality rates for patients treated with two or fewer reductions (open or closed), successful revision arthroplasty, and excision arthroplasty were 3/14 (21%), 1/7 (14%), and 8/14 (57%) respectively. The only statistically significant difference in mortality was the difference between patients who did not sustain a dislocation and those who did and were treated by excision arthroplasty (p = 0.03). Patients treated by excision arthroplasty had the greatest reduction in mobility scores and highest pain scores. The excision arthroplasty group also included the greatest proportion of patients not able to mobilize and the smallest proportion of patients remaining in their own home.


Most dislocations of hemiarthroplasties of the hip occur within one month of surgery. Closed reduction is generally unsuccessful. For those patients with unsuccessful closed reduction, revision arthroplasty should be considered when possible, as this results in a better functional outcome with a lower mortality than excision arthroplasty.

Correspondence should be sent to J. R. Gill; email:

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