Surgical challenges and clinical outcomes of total hip replacement in patients with Down's syndrome

M. G. Zywiel, M. A. Mont, J. J. Callaghan, J. C. Clohisy, Y. Kosashvili, D. Backstein, A. E. Gross

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Down's syndrome is associated with a number of musculoskeletal abnormalities, some of which predispose patients to early symptomatic arthritis of the hip. The purpose of the present study was to review the general and hip-specific factors potentially compromising total hip replacement (THR) in patients with Down's syndrome, as well as to summarise both the surgical techniques that may anticipate the potential adverse impact of these factors and the clinical results reported to date. A search of the literature was performed, and the findings further informed by the authors' clinical experience, as well as that of the hip replacement in Down Syndrome study group. The general factors identified include a high incidence of ligamentous laxity, as well as associated muscle hypotonia and gait abnormalities. Hip-specific factors include: a high incidence of hip dysplasia, as well as a number of other acetabular, femoral and combined femoroacetabular anatomical variations. Four studies encompassing 42 hips, which reported the clinical outcomes of THR in patients with Down's syndrome, were identified. All patients were successfully treated with standard acetabular and femoral components. The use of supplementary acetabular screw fixation to enhance component stability was frequently reported. The use of constrained liners to treat intra-operative instability occurred in eight hips. Survival rates of between 81% and 100% at a mean follow-up of 105 months (6 to 292) are encouraging. Overall, while THR in patients with Down's syndrome does present some unique challenges, the overall clinical results are good, providing these patients with reliable pain relief and good function.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-45
Number of pages5
JournalThe bone & joint journal
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2013


  • Acetabular constraint
  • Adverse events
  • Down’s syndrome
  • Hip instability
  • Total hip replacement


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