Q Will I have hip problems after a “dashboard dislocation?”
These injuries are fairly common in a car crash: the front seat passenger is thrown forward, his knee strikes the dashboard, and the impact travels through his thigh bone to the hip joint—tearing the top of the bone out of its socket. Although these "dashboard dislocations" are treatable, the patient’s recovery often depends on how long it takes to return the thigh bone back into its socket.
When Do Patients Suffer Complications After a Hip Dislocation?
In nearly 90 percent of hip dislocation cases, patients had few complications if their hip was repositioned within six hours after the accident took place. After this time, many additional risks can threaten a patient’s health, including:
- Fractures. If the force of the crash was great enough to cause hip dislocation, it is likely that one or more of the victim’s bones were broken as well, making the hip replacement more complicated.
- Avascular necrosis. If the hip is not placed into its socket quickly, a victim can develop avascular necrosis, or tissue death caused by a lack of oxygen to the bone. When the hip is dislocated, blood cannot reach the top of the femur, cutting off circulation in the joint. If the top of the femur is permanently damaged, patients may need an implant or complete hip replacement in order to walk again.
- Arthritis. Even when no other complications are reported, many patients who suffer a hip dislocation will suffer early arthritis symptoms in the hip joint.
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