Long-term results of core decompression for ischaemic necrosis of the femoral head

A. C. Fairbank, D. Bhatia, R. H. Jinnah, D. S. Hungerford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We have studied the long-term results of core decompression as the sole treatment for Ficat stages I, II and III ischaemic necrosis of 128 femoral heads in 90 patients. The 5-, 10- and 15-year survival rates for the three stages mere respectively: stage I 100%, 96% and 90%; stage II 85%, 74% and 66%; and stage III 58%, 35% and 23%. At a mean follow-up of 11 years (4.5 to 19), 55 hips had failed (43%). No further surgery had been needed for 88% of stage-I, 72% of stage-II and 26% of stage-III hips; but despite the generally satisfactory clinical results, 56% of the hips had progressed radiographically by at least one Ficat stage. Complications of the core procedure included four fractures, all from postoperative falls, and one head perforation due to technical error. We conclude that core decompression delays the need for total hip replacement in young patients with ischaemic necrosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)42-49
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Bone and Joint Surgery - Series B
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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