Complications of osteotomies in severe cerebral palsy.

date: 03/01/1999
author: Stasikelis PJ, Lee DD, Sullivan CM.
publication: J Pediatr Orthop. 1999 Mar-Apr;19(2):207-10.
pubmed_ID: 10088690

Seventy-nine consecutive children with cerebral palsy who underwent osteotomies about the hip for subluxation or dislocation were studied retrospectively to determine risk factors that would correlate with postoperative complications of death, fracture, or decubitus ulcer. Except for the three patients who died, all of the children had > or = 1 year of follow-up. Twenty (25%) patients had at least one complication. Three children died; one at 1 week, one at 2 weeks, and one at 5 months after surgery. Sixteen patients sustained 25 fractures. All were managed with cast or splint immobilization in the clinic. Five patients developed decubitus ulcers requiring > or = 2 weeks of local care, but none required skin grafts or flaps. Complications occurred in 13 (68%) of 19 children with gastrostomies or tracheostomies but in only seven (12%) of the remaining 60 children. Only one (8%) of 13 ambulatory patients had a complication compared with 19 (29%) of 66 nonambulatory patients. In conclusion, ambulatory function correlates well with the risk of complications after osteotomies. A nonambulatory patient with a gastrostomy or tracheostomy is at even greater risk. Fortunately the fractures and ulcers observed in this series healed uneventfully with no operative intervention.