Core decompression of the femoral head for osteonecrosis using percutaneous multiple small-diameter drilling

Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2004 Dec;(429):131-8. doi: 10.1097/01.blo.0000150128.57777.8e.


Osteonecrosis is a disease with a wide ranging etiology and poorly understood pathogenesis seen commonly in young patients. Core decompression has historically been used in patients with small-sized or medium-sized precollapse lesions in an attempt to forestall disease progression. Typically, an 8-10 mm wide cannula trephine is used to do this procedure. The authors report on a new technique using multiple small drillings with a 3-mm Steinman pin to effectuate the core decompression. In this report, there were 32 of 45 hips (71%; 35 patients) with a successful clinical result at a mean followup of 2 years (range, 20-39 months). Twenty four of 30 Stage I hips (80%; 23 patients) had successful outcomes compared with 8 of 15 Stage II hips (57%; 12 patients) with no surgical complications occurring with this technique. This procedure is technically straightforward and led to minimal morbidity with no surgical complications. It may be effective in delaying the need for total hip arthroplasty in young patients with early (precollapse) stages of femoral head osteonecrosis.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cohort Studies
  • Decompression, Surgical / instrumentation*
  • Decompression, Surgical / methods*
  • Female
  • Femur Head Necrosis / diagnosis*
  • Femur Head Necrosis / surgery*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Minimally Invasive Surgical Procedures / methods
  • Pain Measurement
  • Prognosis
  • Range of Motion, Articular / physiology*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Treatment Outcome