The Journal of Arthroplasty, Volume 34, Issue 7, S221 - S227.e1

Posterior Hip Precautions Do Not Impact Early Recovery in Total Hip Arthroplasty: A Multicenter, Randomized, Controlled Study

Dietz, Matthew J. et al.


Posterior hip precautions have been routinely prescribed to decrease dislocation rates. The purpose of this study was to determine whether the absence of hip precautions improved early recovery after total hip arthroplasty via the posterolateral approach.


Patients undergoing total hip arthroplasty via the posterolateral approach at 3 centers were enrolled. Patients meeting the selection criteria were randomized to standard hip precautions (SHP) or no hip precautions (NHP) for 6 weeks following surgery. HOOS Jr, Health State visual analog score, and rate of pain scores were recorded preoperatively and in subsequent postoperative visits; dislocation episodes were also noted. Standard statistical analysis was performed.


From 2016 to 2017, 159 patients were randomized to SHP and 154 patients were randomized to NHP. Controlling for the center at which the surgery was performed, the only difference in outcome scores between the 2 groups was at 2 weeks; the NHP group had a lower HOOS Jr score when compared to the SHP group ( P = .03). There was no difference in outcome scores at any other time points when compared to preoperative assessments. In the SHP group, there were 2 recorded dislocations (1.3%) and 1 in the NHP group (0.7%; P = .62).


In this multicenter, randomized, controlled study, the absence of hip precautions in the postoperative period did not improve subjective outcomes which may be explained by the self-limiting behavior of NHP patients. Furthermore, with the numbers available for the study, there was no difference in the rate of dislocation between the 2 groups.

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