Girdlestone's pseudarthrosis after removal of a total hip prosthesis; a retrospective study of 40 patients.

Published online: Jun 27 1991

E A de Laat, J J van der List, J R van Horn, and T J Slooff.

Institute of Orthopaedics, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.


In case of irreversible failed total hip replacement, a Girdlestone operation is sometimes the obvious solution: excision of cement and prosthesis without attempting a new hip replacement. Reasons for not implanting a new prosthesis are severe loss of bone stock, the risk of recurrent infection, or poor general condition. A clinical follow-up study was performed on 40 patients who underwent a Girdlestone hip procedure using the following criteria: pain, walking distance and the use of a walking support. The mean follow-up was 4.9 years. Postoperatively 33 of 40 patients had less pain compared with the situation before the operation. Sixteen patients walked more than 500 m, 13 patients walked 200-500 m and 11 patients walked less than 200 m, of whom 4 were wheelchair bound. The objective result was good in 40% of the patients, moderate in 42.5%, and bad in 17.5%. Subjectively 62.5% were satisfied. A Girdlestone arthroplasty after loosening of the hip prosthesis was a satisfying solution in most cases.