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For more information, go to www.arthritisresearchuk.org

What is the incidence of girdlestone hip?

Q) My question is what's the incidence of Girdlestone hip? I have this as a result of the bone behind my total hip replacement disintegrating after less than nine years. I'm told that further surgery isn't in my interests. I'm 70 years old.
Angela Morton, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire (Summer 2005) 

A) The Girdlestone hip describes an operation. The operation is an excision arthroplasty of the femoral head and is named after the first Nuffield Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Oxford. It's an old treatment for tuberculosis of the hip and also proved successful for severe osteoarthritis of the hip. The operation was performed before replacement arthroplasty (with an artificial joint) became the norm. After removal of the femoral head, a fibrous joint forms between the pelvis and the thigh bone. I've seen several patients who had this operation but they're diminishing fast as the operation is seldom performed nowadays. However, the operation offers excellent pain relief and good stability but at the cost of reduced mobility.

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