A 12-year-old boy has become the first person in Ireland to undergo a new transplant procedure to replace a damaged hip joint using a donor femoral head bone and cartilage.
The OFHAT procedure involves replacing the bone and cartilage surface on the femoral side of the hip joint with donor bone and cartilage.
Before the procedure, the usual option for children who suffered AVN has been hip fusion or hip replacement. Hip replacement often requires revision surgery after 10 years and further revision surgery is eventually not possible due to bone loss or infection.
In children of 10 or 11 years of age, hip replacement will have poor results in the long term requiring multiple revisions over their lifetime .
Explaining the OFHAT (osteochondral femoral head allograft transplantation) procedure, Dr Green said the size and shape of the child’s femoral head is mapped on MRI and they then go on a recipient waiting list .
Once there is a size match, surgery can proceed involving the hip being dislocated from the socket and the damaged cartilage and bone removed.
The shape of the removed bone is measured and the donor femoral head is used to replace the empty space. The result is the child has a biologic hip instead of an artificial hip replacement and it helps with their pain.
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Photo credit: Dave Meehan