Background: Dislocation of a hip prosthesis is a painful event which has an incidence of 4% for primary total hip arthroplasty. Relocation is traditionally performed under general anaesthesia in the operating theatre, but relocation using sedation in the emergency department (ED) has been reported, with a limited success rate of 62%. A study was undertaken to compare door to relocation times for ED sedation and theatre general anaesthesia.
Methods: The notes of all patients attending five centres in the south west of England with prosthetic hip dislocation over a 12-month period between 2005 and 2006 were retrospectively reviewed using standardised data collection forms.
Results: Successful ED reduction was significantly quicker than failed ED reduction and theatre-based general anaesthesia (2 h 21 min vs 8 h 32 min; p<0.001). No statistical difference was found between failed ED reduction and theatre general anaesthesia.
Conclusions: Reduction of dislocated hip prostheses in the ED saves nearly 6 h compared with theatre-based general anaesthesia and is therefore advocated.
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Competing interests: None declared.
Ethics approval: The local research ethics committee did not require formal review of this study.
Contributions: JG collated and analysed the raw data and co-wrote the paper. GS, NB, HS and SM collected the data from their respective emergency departments. LJ and JB advised and helped supervise the study; JB edited the paper. GL had the original idea, supervised the study, co-wrote the paper and acts as guarantor.