Orthopaedic complications associated with sickle-cell disease

Published online: Dec 27 2006

Antoine de Gheldere, Roger Ndjoko, Pierre-Louis Docquier, Maryline Mousny, Jean-Jacques Rombouts

From the Cliniques universitaires Saint-Luc, UCL, Brussels, Belgium


Sickle cell disease is the most frequent haemoglobinopathy in the world. It affects mostly African descent, but is also present in whites in Greece, Turkey, Italy and India. The responsible gene is autosomal co-dominant and only individuals homozygous for the gene are symptomatic. The condition is characterised by haemolytic anaemia crises and cardio-pulmonary, digestive, neurological, ocular and osteo-articular manifestations. Osteo-articular complications are frequent and may compromise harmonious growth. This retrospective study reports the osteo-articular complications associated with sickle-cell disease encountered in our institution from 1975 to 2004. Orthopaedic complications were reported in 79 patients out of 325 who were followed with sickle-cell disease.