Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research: April 2009 - Volume 467 - Issue 4 - p 940–945 doi: 10.1007/s11999-008-0503-1 Original Article

MRI Shows Biologic Restoration of Posterior Soft Tissue Repairs after THA

Pellicci, Paul, M.1; Potter, Hollis, G.2; Foo, Li, F.2; Boettner, Friedrich1,a

Although posterior capsule repair reduces the incidence of dislocation after THA, radiographic imaging studies suggest a high failure rate of the repair. Using MRI, we prospectively followed patients to evaluate the integrity of the posterior soft tissue repair after primary THA. Thirty-six patients (21 men, 15 women) underwent arthroplasty using a standard posterior approach. The posterior capsule and external rotators were repaired as separate layers using nonabsorbable sutures through two drill holes in the greater trochanter. Patients observed postoperative hip precautions for 6 weeks after surgery. All patients underwent initial MRI between postoperative Days 2 and 4. Thirty patients returned for followup MRI 3 months after surgery. At 3 months followup, the posterior capsule remained intact in 27 of 30 patients (90%) and the quadratus femoris repair remained intact in 29 of 30 patients (97%). Thirteen of 30 piriformis tendon repairs (43%) and 17 conjoined tendon repairs (57%) showed a gap between the hypointense tendon end and the greater trochanter greater than 25 mm. Our data show repaired posterior soft tissues provide a biologic scaffold allowing formation of a posterior pseudocapsule.

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