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Hip dislocations are much more common in people who've had total hip replacements than previously reported, Danish researchers say.
The investigators analyzed data from Denmark and found that the rate of hip dislocations within two years after total hip replacement was 3.5%. That's roughly 50% higher than some previous estimates.
More than 40% of patients with dislocations had at least two dislocations, and three-quarters of initial dislocations occurred within three months of surgery.
The findings were published Dec. 18 in The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.
Dr. Lars Hermansen, of the Hospital of South West Jutland in Esbjerg, Denmark, led the study.
"Since our results are based on a large cohort over a five-year inclusion period and include all hospital contacts in Denmark within the first two years after [total hip replacement], we believe to have found the 'true' occurrence of dislocation within this patient group and time frame," according to Hermansen and his colleagues.
Hip dislocation is a common and serious complication among total hip replacement patients, and one of the top reasons for follow-up surgery. In some cases, dislocations can be treated without surgery or hospitalization, the study authors noted in a journal news release.
Previous studies have found a wide range of dislocation rates due to differences in study methods and patient groups.
By linking the national hip replacement registry and a national patient database, the researchers said they identified many dislocations that would otherwise have been missed.
The study team also found that risk of dislocation was lower in patients under age 65 and higher in those over 75. It was also lower in men than in women. Patients in better health also had a lower risk of dislocation, according to the report.
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons has more on total hip replacement.
SOURCE: The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery, news release, Dec. 18, 2020
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