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Need information about the girdlestone operation on a 83 years old male after hip replacment prosthesis was removed.

Posted by EA0503

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Girdlestone's operation or procedure is more formally known as a femoral head ostectomy.  It is named after the surgeon who first described the removal of the femoral head & neck to treat tuberculosis of the hip.  Now it is more commonly used to control pain, although not being an orthopedic surgeon, it's not clear to me how one would ambulate (if indeed that is the expectation) if the head & neck are not replaced!  In this 83yo male who just had his hip replacement prosthesis removed, it would be best to ask the operating surgeon what the intentions of the proposed surgery were, possible complications, and expected time frame to desired outcome.  All this should ideally be done prior to an elective operation after which 2nd & 3rd opinions could be obtained.  Understandably, sometimes urgent & emergent surgeries don't allow for the luxury of time and questioning.  However, the operating surgeon should still be able to address concerns post-operatively rather than have the patient search for info online.  Moreover, make use of your family physician who should be involved in pre-op clearance & post-op care and quickly resume outpatient management.  S/he can help the patient wade through medical gooblygook.  Good luck!
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