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 #8

CC: Altered Mental Status

HPI: 50 -year-old Male with PMH of HIV, CVA and Meningitis presents to the Emergency Department (ED) for altered mental status. As per the patient’s girlfriend at bedside, the patient woke up confused and was not making any sense when he spoke. He even urinated on the floor but does not remember doing so. Patient had been complaining of back pain, testicular pain and leg pain for the past couple of weeks and had been evaluated for it in the ED. Patient also states he is currently taking “something for his HIV” but is unclear what his last CD4+ count was. Denies sick contacts. The rest of the review of systems was limited by confusion, but denied vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, or any other complaints.

Physical Exam:

BP 128/78   HR 129     RR 14   SpO2 96% on RA   Temp 102.4F

Constitutional: Diaphoretic, confused and intermittently following commands.

HEENT: NCAT, pupils PERRLA, neck supple

Respiratory: CTA B/L, no wheezing, rales or rhonchi

Cardiac: +S1/S2, tachycardia, no MRG, regular rhythm

Abdomen: soft, mildly distended with mild tenderness in RUQ and LUQ.  Was not able to appreciate any focal masses . No rebound or guarding

Neuro exam: Not oriented to time or situation, No focal deficits, moving all four extremities. Unable to complete a more detailed exam as patient remained confused.

Extremities: no edema, no tenderness or swelling

Skin: pink and warm with diaphoresis, no rashes, lacerations, or abrasions

Pertinent Labs:

(Per Sorian Inpatient) CD4 = 120 on June 2017

Sepsis workup summary (normal if not reported):

  • Trop 0.045ng/ml
  • Sodium 126
  • WBC 5.8       Chloride 93
  • RBC 3.72      CO2 19
  • HBG 10.3      Glucose 116
  • HCT 30.3       BUN 89
  • Platelets 108
  • Cr 2.90 (↑ from baseline)
  • Bands 27        Total Bili 4.5
  • Lymphs 3       Total Protein 5.7
  • Monos 2         Albumin 2.6
  • Lymphocytes 0.2
  • Alk Phos 346   Monocytes 0.1
  • AST 143
  • ALT 58
  • Lactic acid 3.4
  • U/A negative
  • CSF negative

Pertinent Imaging and other tests:

EKG remarkable for sinus tachycardia, left axis deviation, and an old RBBB

CT head w/o contrast remarkable for only mild frontal volume loss

Chest XR – unremarkable

RUQ Bedside US and then official US completed and showed:

Working Diagnosis:

Hepatic hydatid cysts from Echinococcus tape worm

Hepatic abscesses

Metastatic cancer

Multiple biliary hamartomas

Polycystic liver disease

Caroli Disease

ED/Hospital course:

In the ED, the patient received IV Fluid boluses of NS 30mg/kg and one 1000mL of NS along with Tylenol, Vancomycin and Zosyn. The patient was admitted to Infectious Disease service. Throughout the hospital stay, CT Scan of abdomen and pelvis w/o contrast (due to AKI) was remarkable for infiltrated liver, splenic lesions, and destructive lesions of the bilateral iliac wings and L5 with pathologic fracture of the posterior right rib, which may be due to metastatic disease. The underlying etiology is uncertain. Without contrast, it was not certain if there was underlying macronodular cirrhosis. There was also associated ascites. Initial blood cultures from the ED grew Salmonella species. The patient was initially admitted the medical floor but was transferred to the Medical ICU on day 7 of hospitalization for increased lethargy and worsening lactic acidosis, transaminitis, and AKI. He later went into multisystem organ failure and was intubated thereafter. His code status was also changed to DNR/DNI. The patient unfortunately expired before endoscopy, colonoscopy, and biopsy could be performed.

Official Ultrasound read – Findings consistent with metastatic disease to the liver.

Pearls:

Hepatic Hydatid infection

  • Caused by Echinococcus granulosus or Echinococcus multilocularis
  • granulosus – Endemic in North America & Australia with dogs & wolves main as main host
  • multilocularis – Found in Northern Hemisphere with red fox, dogs, & cats as main host
  • Ultrasound would show a multiseptate cyst with daughter cysts
  • X-ray would show calcified rings
  • CT Abd/Pelvis may show the water-lily sign, which occurs when the endocystic membrane becomes detached, resulting in floating membranes within the pericyst, which mimics the appearance of a water lily ( Refer to Figure 1).

Figure 1. A detached membrane within the contents of the cyst, known as the water-lily sign

Pearls

Hepatic Hydatid infection

  • Infection may be asymptomatic for many years, with a long latent period (up to 50 years of age!)
  • Albendazole for confirmed infection
  • Reserve antibiotics for those in which diagnosis is uncertain due to risk of anaphylaxis
  • Most cases in U.S. occur in immigrants from endemic countries (South America, Middle East, eastern Mediterranean, sub Saharan, African, West China, former Soviet Union)
  • Confirmed cases in U.S. are rare

Patients with HIV

  • Always ask for CD4+ count and if they are on medications for their HIV/AIDs
  • Have a low threshold for doing an aggressive workup for these individuals, especially if poor follow up
  • HIV is a risk factor for Salmonella bacteremia
    • Other risk factors include any immunosuppressed state, liver disease, hemoglobinopathies (decreased splenic function)
    • Most salmonella bacteremia can have a preceding diarrheal illness
    • Major complication is endovascular infection
    • Treatment is IV fluoroquinolones or 3rd generation cephalosporin

Case presented by Jessica Williams, MD, PGY1