BMJ Case Reports 2013; doi:10.1136/bcr-2013-009086

Rapidly progressive osteoarthritis presenting as acute limb shortening

  1. Angel Ruiz
  1. Department of Trauma and Orthopaedics, Altnagelvin Area Hospital, Londonderry, UK
  1. Correspondence to Mr William Dominic Marley, wmarley01{at}


A 74-year-old woman was seen in outpatients with left hip pain in keeping with osteoarthritis. Clinical examination revealed an antalgic gait, decreased range of movement, marked crepitus within the joint and normal leg lengths. x-Ray revealed the cardinal signs of osteoarthritis (figure 1) and she was boarded for a total hip replacement.

Figure 1

Anterioposterior film of the pelvis showing osteoarthritic changes in the left hip.

On admission 9 months later, her main complaint was of a worsening limp with leg length discrepancy. …

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