Joint Replacements in Individuals With Skeletal Dysplasias: One Institution's Experience and Response to Operative Complications

J Arthroplasty. 2020 Aug;35(8):1993-2001. doi: 10.1016/j.arth.2020.04.007. Epub 2020 Apr 9.


Background: Skeletal dysplasias are a heterogeneous group of >400 genetic disorders characterized by abnormal bone growth. Many individuals experience joint pain and limitation, coming to require joint replacement much earlier than the average-statured population. In addition, prosthesis survival rate is less in the dysplastic population. The purpose of this study is to identify risk factors for surgery and provide recommendations to improve surgical outcomes.

Methods: This a retrospective review of 29 individuals with a skeletal dysplasia who had 64 joint replacements between April 1985 and January 2019 at a single institution. We collected demographics, physical examination, medical history, imaging studies, surgical indication, and complications.

Results: Spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia was the most common skeletal dysplasia (7), followed by pseudoachondroplasia (4) and multiple epiphyseal dysplasia (4). Average age of the cohort was 40.6 years (range 14-64). Hip arthroplasty (34) was the most commonly performed surgery. The majority of arthroplasties (75%) required custom components. Complication rate was 37.3%, most commonly pulmonary embolism (3) and pneumonia (3). Most complications (81.8%) occurred in individuals with either a pre-existing cardiopulmonary comorbidity or lumbar/sacral deformity. Body mass index did not correlate with complication severity (R = -0.042, P = .752) or rate (R = 0.006, P = .963).

Conclusion: Surgical complications are highest in patients with pre-existing cardiopulmonary conditions. Body mass index does not predict complications in this cohort. Preoperative evaluations for individuals with skeletal dysplasias should include comprehensive work-up of spine issues and extraskeletal systems that present an operative risk. Intraoperative protocol should include special consideration for placement on the table, airway maintenance, and spinal cord monitoring in select cases.

Keywords: arthroplasty; complications; joint replacement; osteochondrodysplasias; skeletal dysplasia.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Hip* / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteochondrodysplasias* / epidemiology
  • Osteochondrodysplasias* / surgery
  • Prosthesis Failure
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Spinal Diseases*
  • Young Adult