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Long-Term Success of Joint Replacement Reported in Osteopetrosis

Posted on: 10/20/2005
In this study doctors from the Mayo Clinic report on five cases of joint replacement in patients with osteopetrosis. Osteopetrosis also known as Albers-Schonberg disease is a bone disorder of varying severity. The bones are very dense but also break easily. The cavity for bone marrow doesn't form.

Arthritis and fractures cause joint problems. Joint replacement may be an acceptable form of treatment. The hard, brittle bone without a normal cavity may make it difficult to put a joint implant in place. Long-term results are unknown.

In these five cases patients either had a total hip or a total knee joint done. Patients were followed from one to 20 years. Everyone had a good result with few problems related to the joint replacement.

The surgeons report surgery time was longer than usual for patients with osteopetrosis. Hard bone and lack of a normal canal for the implant stem increase the normal operative time.

Long-term results in these five cases were good. None of the implants loosened. No one had a bone fracture around the implant. The general conclusion is that patients with osteopetrosis can benefit from joint replacement.

Justin P. Strickland, MD and Daniel J. Berry, MD. Total Joint Arthroplasty in Patients with Osteopetrosis: A Report of 5 Cases and Review of the Literature. In The Journal of Arthroplasty. September 2005. Vol. 20. No. 6. Pp. 815-820.

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