Preoperative Patient Care
Operative Techniques

Preoperative Plan


Execute surgical walkthrough

  • describe key steps of the operation verbally to attending prior to beginning of case.
  • describe potential complications and the steps to avoid them


Identifies potential blocks to reduction


Room Preparation


Surgical instrumentation

  • right angle clamp; non absorbable suture (size 0 or 1 Ethibond);spica table and spica casting materials


Room setup and equipment

  • setup OR with standard radiolucent operating table
  • c-arm in from contralateral side
  • monitor in surgeon direct line of site on opposite side (or foot) of OR table
  • spica table available for cast placement at end of procedure
  • evaluate femoral anteversion


Patient positioning

  • supine
  • small bump under hip (under iliac crest not buttock so gluteal muscles fall away)
  • Prep patient
  • prep medially to umbilicus, superiorly to 12th rib and posteriorly as far as possible

Anterior Approach


Mark the incision

  • skin incision 1 cm below iliac crest and inguinal ligament with 2/3 posterior to ASIS, 1/3 anterior to ASIS (approx 6cm posterior and 3cm anterior in toddlers)


Make the skin incision

  • perform a sharp dissection through the subcutaneous tissue down to the deep fascia

Deep Dissection


Identify the internervous plane

  • identify the interval between the sartorius and the tensor fascia latae (TFL) muscles


Identify neurovascular structures

  • identify and protect the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve


Develop surgical plane between sartorius and TFL

  • usually done with blunt dissection
  • identify plane (with fat stripe) beginning with hemostat or dissecting scissors
  • continue dissection with army-navy or similar right angle retractors
  • expose bony ridge between ASIS and AIIS

Capsule Exposure


Expose the ilium

  • feather external oblique off iliac crest slightly to visualize apophysis
  • incise the iliac apophysis down the middle with a 15 blade
  • "pop" off the lateral half of the apophysis and dissect off the outer table
  • the apophysis on the medial side is left in place unless a pelvic osteotomy is necessary
  • elevate the periosteum on either side and pack


Place right angle retractors in TFL-Sartorius interval

  • connect TFL-Sartorius interval to proximal window (exposed ilium)


identify rectus femoris tendon and detach as far proximally as possible

  • tag rectus femoris with 2-0 ethibond


Place retractors appropriately

  • dissect the TFL origin to the AIIS
  • place a retractor along the medial aspect of the AIIS onto the superior pubic ramus
  • identify the psoas tendon in its groove on the superior pubic ramus
  • place a right angle (e.g. Sofield) retractor medially to retract to overlying psoas muscle belly and expose the underlying tendon
  • the retractor protects the psoas and the neurovascular bundle anteriorly and helps assist in the medial exposure
  • perform an over the brim psoas lengthening to facilitate placement of the right angle retractor in the groove of the superior pubic ramus and expose the anterior hip capsule sufficiently
  • this groove is normally occupied by the iliopsoas


Expose the capsule

  • clear hip capsule anteromedially to acetabulum
  • a medium Chandler retractor is placed over the hip capsule superolaterally to allow complete anterior capsular exposure

Capsular Incision


Incise the capsule

  • make a T-shaped incision in the anterior hip capsule
  • the first cut is essentially parallel to the acetabulum and runs from superolaterally to inferomedially
  • the second cut is perpendicular to this and runs along the anterior border of the femoral head and neck
  • for more exposure, use Kocher clamps to retract the capsule
  • place tag sutures (size 2-0 Vicryl) in the cut edges of the hip capsule


Remove soft tissue attachments

  • identify the femoral head and ligamentum teres
  • detach the ligamentum teres from the femoral head
  • trace the ligamentum teres to the true acetabulum and remove this hypertrophic structure

Acetabular Exposure


Expose the entrance to the acetabulum

  • expose the acetabulum laterally, superiorly, medially and inferiorly down to the transverse acetabular ligament
  • the pulvinar must be removed to see the cotyloid fossa and transverse acetabular ligament
  • incise the transverse acetabular ligament to expose and enlarge the most inferior aspect of the acetabulum

Femoral Head Reduction


Reduce the femoral head

  • reduce the femoral head into the acetabulum


Evaluate the hip reduction

  • move the hip through a complete range of motion
  • identify the safe zone of reduction


Perform capsulorrhaphy

  • excise redundant capsule as needed
  • suture the superolateral flap of the T shaped incision as far inferomedially as possible
  • this is done to minimize the amount of redundancy in the false acetabulum
  • place sutures in the tips of the T shaped incision and along the inferior border of the acetabulum
  • and the hip is held in approximately 30 degrees each of hip flexion, abduction and mild internal rotation during capsulorrhaphy


Reattach soft tissue

  • suture the rectus femoris to its origin with 2-0 Ethibond
  • close iliac crest with figure 8 sutures of 2-0 Vicryl reapproximating the apophysis
  • a running 2-0 Vicryl is used to approximate the external oblique to its insertion

Wound Closure


Irrigation and hemostasis

  • copiously irrigate the wound


Fascial closure

  • use 0-vicryl for deep closure, avoid entrapment of LFCN


Superficial closure

  • use 2-0 vicryl for the subcutaneous tissue
  • use 3-0 monocryl for skin


Dressings and immobilization

  • apply a one and a half leg spica cast with 30 degrees of flexion, 30 degrees of abduction, and mild internal rotation
  • mold posterior to greater trochanter
Postoperative Patient Care

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