What is an osteotomy?

A femoral osteotomy is a surgical correction done on many children with subluxation or dislocation of the hips due to cerebral palsy. Subluxation is when the ball of the hip slowly pulls out of its position in the socket. Dislocation is when the ball completely comes out of the socket. This procedure may also be called a varus osteotomy, varus derotational osteotomy, or hip osteotomy.

What Happens During an Osteotomy Procedure?

In the surgery, the thighbone (femur) is typically cut just below the hip joint and redirected back into place. Most all varus osteotomy procedures involve implanting a plate and pins to hold and fix the osteotomy. Usually, children are placed in spica casts for 4-8 weeks after surgery. A splint or brace may then be used for several months after the surgery. Bracing and therapy schedules must be adhered to. The expectation is that walking will be improved, and for children that are unable to walk, sitting will be improved.

Cerebral Palsy, Spasticity, and Osteotomy Procedures

The main factor in hip problems is the muscle imbalance caused by spasticity. Specifically, tight adductor muscles pull the femur, improperly producing a rotation of the hip. This causes the ball of the hip to move slowly out of the socket. Walking actually helps the femur sit properly, which is why children who do not walk are at a high risk of having hip problems.

Hip subluxation/dislocation can be prevented or delayed with early and aggressive treatment. By the time a child is 2 years of age, there is a need to begin close examination of the hips. The dislocation is gradual, so the hips should be x-rayed and assessed by an orthopedic surgeon every six months.

If the hips appear to be dislocating (even a small amount), a hip muscle release surgery can be performed. These muscle and tendon releases can prevent the hip from dislocating. Muscle releases are also done along with the osteotomy if one hasn’t been previously done.

Michigan Birth Injury Attorneys Providing Legal Help for Cerebral Palsy from Medical Malpractice

If your child has cerebral palsy as the result of medical malpractice, our Detroit, Michigan birth injury attorneys can help your family obtain the funds necessary to afford important care and therapy resources. To begin your free legal consultation at Reiter & Walsh ABC Law Centers, please contact us in any of the following ways. All case reviews are free of charge; you pay nothing until we win or settle in your favor.

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