The Choice Between Total Hip Arthroplasty and Arthrodesis in Adolescent Patients: A Survey of Orthopedic Surgeons

For adolescent patients with end-stage hip disease, the choice between total hip arthroplasty (THA) and arthrodesis is complex; the clinical evidence is not definitive, and there are difficult trade-offs between clear short-term benefits from THA and uncertain long-term risks. We surveyed nearly 700 members of the Pediatric Orthopedic Society of North America and the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons. Respondents chose between a recommendation of THA or arthrodesis in four clinical vignettes. A clear majority of surgeons recommended THA in two of the vignettes, however opinion was somewhat divided in one vignette (overweight adolescent) and deeply divided in another (adolescent destined for manual labor job). Across all vignettes, recommendations varied systematically according to surgeons' age and their attitudes regarding tradeoffs between life stages.