Purpose: The aim of this study was to evaluate the short-term results after arthroscopic femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) correction combined with additional procedures addressing labral and chondral damages in patients who showed generalized severe cartilage lesions intraoperatively.
Methods: Between 2004 and 2007, 20 patients (16 men and 4 women) could be included in the study. Clinical parameters, the pain score on a visual analog scale, initial radiologic degenerative changes, the alpha angle, and the Nonarthritic Hip Score were prospectively documented. The study endpoint was the implantation of a total hip arthroscopy or the latest follow-up.
Results: At a mean follow-up of 3.0 years, 10 patients (50%) had undergone, or planned to undergo, total hip replacement. The remaining patients showed a significant improvement in pain, Nonarthritic Hip Score, and hip flexion and internal rotation.
Conclusions: In patients with already marked generalized chondral lesions, arthroscopy does not have any effect beyond the short-term pain relief resulting from debridement. The study underlines the fact that FAI with advanced osteoarthrosis, particularly Tönnis grade III, is not an indication for arthroscopic FAI correction.
Level of evidence: Level IV, therapeutic case series.