Does total hip arthroplasty mean sensorial and proprioceptive lesion? A clinical study.

A. Zati, S. Degli Esposti, C. Spagnoletti, E. Martucci, T. W. Bilotta

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Total hip arthroplasty means sacrificing the joint capsule and the mechanoreceptors contained therein. Recent neurophysiological experiences seem to redefine the sensorial and proprioceptive role of the joint capsule in favor of the activity of the muscular mechanoreceptors, particularly in the area of the coxofemoral joint. The authors have examined the sensorial lesion caused by total hip arthroplasty in a group of 20 patients. Clinical testing was conducted prior to surgery, 7 and 40 days later. The tests were aimed at exploring the perceptive and proprioceptive activity of the hip, and showed marked decrease in all of the receptorial activity one week after surgery. After 40 days perceptive function was completely recovered, as the scores for tests conducted were the same as those obtained prior to surgery: proprioceptive activity was instead considerably improved, with significant changes in most parts of the tests. The authors conclude by observing that total hip arthroplasty does not cause permanent lesion of the perception of joint movement; furthermore, renewed coxofemoral mechanics allow for a better proprioceptive response with strengthening of static and dynamic antigravitational reactions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239-247
Number of pages9
JournalLa Chirurgia degli organi di movimento
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1997


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