Risk Factors for the Development of Nerve Palsy Following Primary Total Hip Arthroplasty

Shunsuke Kawano*, Motoki Sonohata, Masaru Kitajima, Masaaki Mawatari
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, Saga University, 5-1-1 Nabeshima, Saga 849-8501, Japan

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© 2018 Kawano et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: ( This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, Saga University, Nabeshima 5-1-1, Saga 849-8501, Japan; Tel: +81-952-34-2343; Fax: +81-952-34-2059; E-mail:



Nerve palsy following total hip arthroplasty (THA) is a complication that worsens the functional prognosis. The present study analyzed the risk factors of nerve palsy following THA.


The subjects of this study included 6,123 cases in which primary THA was performed under spinal anesthesia with cementless implants used in the posterolateral approach.


Fourteen cases (0.22%) developed nerve palsy following THA, all of which involved palsy of the entire peroneal nerve region. The diagnoses included osteoarthritis due to subluxation (n=6), complete hip dislocation (n=3), osteonecrosis of the femoral head (n=2), primary osteoarthritis (n=1), osteoarthritis due to trauma (n=1), and multiple osteochondromatosis (n=1). Recovery from nerve palsy was confirmed in 10 cases; the longest recovery period was three years. A univariate analysis revealed significant differences in the osteoarthritis due to subluxation, osteonecrosis of the femoral head, complete hip dislocation, body weight and body mass index. However, none of the factors remained significant in multivariate analysis. Peroneal (ischiadic) nerve palsy following THA occurred in patients with osteonecrosis of the femoral head, complete hip dislocation, low body weight and a low body mass index. However, there were no cases of nerve palsy after the introduction of THA combined with shortening osteotomy of the femur for complete hip dislocation. patients.


It is necessary to pay attention to direct pressure in cases of lower body weight and lower BMI because compression of the sciatic nerve during surgery and compression of the fibular head are considered to be risk factors.

Keywords: Risk factor, Total hip arthroplasty, Nerve palsy, Sciatic nerve, Complication, Clinical result.