The Importance of Monitoring and Factors That May Influence Leg Length Difference in Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip

Rajiv M. Merchant, Jaap J. Tolk, Anouska A. Ayub, Deborah M. Eastwood*, Aresh Hashemi-Nejad

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

In unilateral Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip (DDH), avascular necrosis (AVN), femoral or pelvic osteotomy, and residual dysplasia causing subluxation of the proximal femur may influence Leg Length Discrepancy (LLD). This can lead to gait compensation, pelvic obliquity, and spinal curvature. The aim of this study is to determine the prevalence of LLD, establish which limb segment contributes to the discrepancy, describe how AVN influences LLD, and ascertain variables that may influence the need for LLD corrective procedures. Methodology: This study assessed long-leg radiographs at skeletal maturity. Radiographs were assessed for the articulo-trochanteric distance (ATD) and femoral and tibial length. AVN was classified according to Kalamchi–MacEwen. Results: 109 patients were included. The affected/DDH leg was longer in 72/109 (66%) patients. The length difference was mainly in the subtrochanteric segment of the femur. AVN negatively influenced leg length. Older (≥three years) patients with multiple procedures were more likely to have AVN. LLD interventions were performed in 30 (27.5%) patients. AVN grade or type of DDH surgery did not influence the odds of needing a procedure to correct LLD. Conclusions: Procedures to correct LLD were performed irrespective of previous DDH surgery or AVN grades. In most patients, the affected/DDH leg was longer, mainly in the subtrochanteric segment of the femur, largely influenced by femoral osteotomy in patients with multiple operative procedures for DDH. We recommend careful monitoring of LLD in DDH.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1945
JournalChildren
Volume9
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 12 Dec 2022

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