Background: Since the modern description of femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) a decade ago, surgical treatment has become increasingly common. Although the ability of open treatment of FAI to relieve pain and improve function has been demonstrated in a number of retrospective studies, questions remain regarding predictability of clinical outcome, the factors associated with clinical failure, and the complications associated with treatment.
Questions/purposes: We therefore described the change in clinical pain and function after open treatment, determined whether failure of treatment and progression of osteoarthritis was associated with Outerbridge Grade IV hyaline cartilage injury, and described the associated complications.
Methods: We retrospectively reviewed all 94 patients (96 hips) (55 males and 39 females; mean age, 28 years) who underwent surgical dislocation for femoroacetabular impingement between 2000 and 2008. Seventy-two of the 96 hips had acetabular articular cartilage lesions treated with a variety of methods, most commonly resection of damaged hyaline cartilage and labral advancement. Patients were followed for a minimum of 18 months (mean, 26 months; range, 18-96 months).
Results: Mean Harris hip scores improved from 67 to 91 at final followup. Six of the 96 hips (6%) were converted to arthroplasty or had worse Harris hip score after surgical recovery. Four of these six had Outerbridge Grade IV acetabular cartilage lesions and two had Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease or slipped capital epiphysis deformities. Two hips (2%) had refixation of the greater trochanter.
Conclusions: At short-term followup, open treatment for femoroacetabular impingement in hips without substantial acetabular hyaline cartilage damage reduced pain and improved function with a low complication rate. Treatment of Outerbridge Grade IV acetabular cartilage delamination remains the major challenge.
Level of evidence: Level IV, therapeutic study. See Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.