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January 1959

Postoperative Chronic Osteomyelitis of the Hip Joint in Adults

Author Affiliations

Los Angeles

AMA Arch Surg. 1959;78(1):108-114. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1959.04320010110019

Introduction  Although a relatively rare occurrence in adults, chronic osteomyelitis of the hip joint is a tragic disease with a dismal prognosis. Despite the extensive use of antibiotics today as a supplement to the traditional preantibiotic treatment of aspiration, immobilization, traction, open drainage, and sequestrectomy, acute osteomyelitis of the hip joint all too often progresses to the chronic stage, with consequent joint destruction. Sixteen male patients with chronically draining hips of one or more years have been studied, and their management is a most perplexing problem. Six of these cases originated at the Veterans Administration Hospital.The paucity of information in the literature concerning this subject is mute testimony to the lack of definitive, successful cure. Girdlestone1 advocated excision of the lateral gluteal musculature, greater trochanter, neck and head of the femur, rim of the acetabulum, and all joint cartilage, followed by wide-open drainage in the case of the

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