Managing Dislocations of the Hip in the ED

Source: EM Practice Podcast – Dec 2017
** There are no existing ACEP guidelines on this topic.


Pre-Hospital Management
  • Stabilizing and pain control
  • Neurovascular compromise
    • If suspected then d/w med control for considerate of immediate reduction and splinting vs. rapid transport to ED
    • If no suspicion the patient can be immobilized in current position
  • Don’t forget C-spine precautions as these injuries are often distracting

Overview

Etiology:

  • Typically traumatic in origin
  • Over 2/3 Hip dislocations occur in patients who present after MVCs without seat belts with the knee hitting the dashboard and the body moving forward over a fixed femur.
    • Often associated with posterior wall/lip fractures of the acetabulum

Definitions:

  • Simple vs. Complex
    • Simple Dislocation – does not involve fracture
    • Complex Dislocation – involves fracture

Pathophysiology:

  • Posterior & Inferior dislocations are most common – about 90% of dislocations
  • Fracture of >40% of the acetabular rim is considered an UNSTABLE FRACTURE (requires ORIF)
    • If there is a posterior acetabular fracture you must get a CT to eval for unstable fractures
  • Sciatic nerve injury
    • Seen in about 14% of traumatic hip dislocations
    • Check sensory along the posterior leg, ability to dorsiflex the ankle and ankle reflexes
  • 95% of traumatic hip dislocations will have another associated injury
    • Be sure to complete a full trauma survey on these patients per ATLS guidelines

Imaging
  • Initial image should be a bedside AP pelvic radiograph
  • Look for Shenton’s Line

  • Lateral film can seal the diagnosis if unsure based on initial bedside AP
  • CT if neeeded

Treatment for Native Hips (non-prosthetic)

Consultation

  • Ortho Consultation are required for the following:
    • Complex hip dislocations
    • Irreducible dislocations
    • Non-concentric reductions
    • Neurovascular deficits despite reduction

Reductions

Who:
– Simple dislocations can & should be reduced by the ED physician!

When:
– Reduction should be performed within 6 hours of injury to decrease risk of avascular necrosis
– No more than 3 attempts at reduction should be made by the ED provider

Transfers:
– If patient requires transfer to a different hospital, an attempt at reduction should be made by the ED provider.
– Patients transferred without reduction had a 4-fold risk of severe sciatic nerve compared to those transferred after reduction (16% vs 4%).

Analgesia:
– Be sure pain is controlled prior to attempting reduction

  • Ultrasound guided fascia iliaca compartmental block work great
    • Reduces need for systemic analgesics
    • Improves patient comfort
    • Increases likelihood of successful reduction
    • Reduce need for procedural sedation
    • Be sure to have completed a full neurological exam prior to blocking your patient
      LINK TO VIDEO
  • In many cases, procedural sedation and systemic analgesia may also be needed (in addition to nerve block) in order to adequate pain control and muscle relaxation.

Reduction Techniques

Old School:
Allis’s Maneuver

Newer techniques:
Captain Morgan
Over-Under/Whistler
East Baltimore Lift

No evidence exists to recommend one technique over the other.


Immobilization

After successful reduction the hip should be immobilized in extension and external rotation with slight abduction
– Use an abduction pillow to help hold this position
– Knee immobilizer can be used if no abduction pillow is available

Don’t forget to obtain a post reduction film to confirm alignment


Other Recommendations
– Early passive range of motion and rehab is usually recommended
– Patients should remain non-weight bearing until seen by an Orthopedist


Notes on Prosthetic Hip Dislocations
  • Quite common
    • Incidence of ~2% of patients who undergo THA
    • 60% occur within first 3 mo, 77% occur within the first year
  • Often the result of minimal force like bending over to pick something up off the floor
  • Use the same techniques as a native hip reduction
  • Do not need abduction bracing after the reduction
  • If the patient can walk after the reduction, they can be safely discharged (after discussion with their orthopedist)
  • Less urgency, no risk of avascular necrosis as the femoral head has already been replaced
  • Remember, these injuries are painful and although less urgent, the reduction should occur as soon as possible

 

Case of the Week COW #12

CC: Left leg pain

HPI: 52 year old male with PMH of IDDM presents to the Emergency Dept. (ED) with left leg pain for the past 9 days which has become progressively worse. He is a taxi driver and reports that a part of the seat, which supports his legs, has been rubbing against his left hip/buttock/thigh and he thinks this is what’s causing the pain. He reports pain to the back of his left buttock, which radiates down the leg “like a shooting pain.” The patient has been to the ED multiple times already for similar complaints, requesting for stronger pain medications. He is upset because he feels the medicine just isn’t working. At this point, the patient is uncooperative and refuses to answer any more questions. Further history was obtained from his previous visit history, which stated he was discharged yesterday with a diagnosis of sciatica and a prescription for Lidoderm patch, Motrin and Percocet.

PMH/Birth History: N/A

Social History: N/A, refused to answer any further questions

PHYSICAL EXAM

VS: BP 125/59     HR 108     RR18   T: 98F   98% RA

General: In moderate acute distress, appears stated age, in moderate pain, uncomfortable and diaphoretic.

HEENT: Atraumatic, normo-cephalic. No deformities. PEERLA

Respiratory: Lungs CTA bilaterally.

Cardiac: +S1/S2, no MRG, regular rate and rhythm

Abdomen: soft NT ND

Extremities: B/L DP 2+, Cap refill < 3 seconds, positive straight leg (LLE); pain isolated to (L) buttock and posterior lateral thigh.

Neuro exam: CN III –XII intact. 5/5 strength in all 4 extremities with limited ROM in the LLE secondary to pain.

Skin: Diffuse erythema over the Left buttock extending down to the posterior lateral left thigh, with pitting edema. No fluctuance or streaking noted.

Labs:

WBC: 24.7     H/H: 13.1 / 39.4     Platelets 245     PMH: 22.1  Lymph: 0.7     Mono: 1.5

Na: 126     K: 5.5                 Cl: 89       CO2: 22           Glucose: 438

Bun: 38     Cr: 1.17         Alk P: 140       LFT: WNL         Albumin 3.2

Acetone: NEG

ESR: 65

CRP: 30

Lactic acid: 1.4

Images:

Repeat Vital Signs 139/81   89   16     99.7F   97% ON RA

MRI

 

 

Working Differential Diagnosis: Pyomyositis

ED/Hospital course:  Orthopedic Surgery was consulted. X-Ray did not show obvious bony involvement and ESR/CRP was not suggestive of osteomyelitis. MRI was performed on the LLE, which sowed a hyper-intense signal within multiple muscles of the pelvis and left thigh consistent with myositis. Collection within the Obturator Externus and Gluteus Maximus muscles likely represented an abscess consistent with pyomyositis. The patient was started on Vancomycin and Zosyn and sent to Interventional Radiology for drainage of the abscess. The cultures grew back MSSA. The left knee tap did not grow any organisms on Gram Stain. IR drainage was followed by orthopedic washout and debridement of the musculature with insertion of JP drain for continuous drainage. The patient’s antibiotics were switched to Levaquin and he was subsequently discharged home with Clindamycin and Bactrim for 2 more weeks. He tested negative for HIV.

Pearls & Takeaways:

  1. Don’t blow off patient’s complaints! Our patient presented with History and Physical exam consistent with sciatica with a positive straight leg test. He was on Percocet and kept asking for stronger medications for his previously diagnosed Sciatica.
  2. Make sure to undress the patient and examine the skin!
  3. If the patient is complaining of pain out of proportion to his/her exam, dig a little deeper for alternative differential!
  4. Since his Accucheck was High, further laboratory testing was done which revealed leukocytosis. The elevated white count prompted me to perform a further work up
  5. Always re-evaluate the patient! On re-evaluation, he appeared sicker and with cool, damp skin on his back and neck, solidifying my gestalt that maybe I am missing something
  6. Pyomyositis is a purulent infection of skeletal muscle that arises from hematogenous spread, usually with abscess formation.
  7. Risk Factors: immunodeficiency (HIV).
  8. auerus is the most common cause of pyomyositis; it causes up to 75 – 90% of cases.
  9. Pyomyositis presents with fever and pain and cramping localized to a single muscle group. It develops most often in the lower extremity (sites include the thigh, calf and gluteal muscles) but any group of muscles can be involved including iliopsoas, pelvic, trunk, Paraspinal and upper extremities.
  10. MRI is the most useful imaging modality for diagnosing the disease. It can distinguish the defining sites of infection and rule out other entities.
  11. Nonspecific lab findings include Leukocytosis and elevated inflammatory markers but CPK are often normal.
  12. Empiric antibiotics should be directed against Staph/Strep for immunocompetent. Immunocompromised should be covered for Gram negative, gram positive and anaerobic organisms should be considered.
  13. Pyomyositis is graded based on stages.
    • Stage 1 (Invasive stage, 1-2 weeks, may only have pain) can be treated with Antibiotics alone.
    • Most patients present with Stage 2 (Suppurative stage, weeks 3-4)
    • Stage 3 (Late stage) due to delay in diagnosis and usually requires drainage for definitive management.

Case presented by Dr. Michael Hong