Validation of the classification system for acetabular chondral lesions identified at arthroscopy in patients with femoroacetabular impingement

J Bone Joint Surg Br. 2011 Mar;93(3):332-6. doi: 10.1302/0301-620X.93B3.25322.


There have been considerable recent advances in the understanding and management of femoroacetabular impingement and associated labral and chondral pathology. We have developed a classification system for acetabular chondral lesions. In our system, we use the six acetabular zones previously described by Ilizaliturri et al. The cartilage is then graded on a scale of 0 to 4 as follows: grade 0, normal articular cartilage lesions; grade 1, softening or wave sign; grade 2, cleavage lesion; grade 3, delamination; and grade 4, exposed bone. The site of the lesion is further classed as A, B or C based on whether the lesion is less than one-third of the distance from the acetabular rim to the cotyloid fossa, one-third to two-thirds of the same distance and greater than two-thirds of the distance, respectively. In order to validate the classification system, six surgeons graded ten video recordings of hip arthroscopy. Our findings showed a high intra-observer reliability of the classification system with an intraclass correlation coefficient of 0.81 and a high interobserver reliability with an intraclass correlation coefficient of 0.88. We have developed a simple reproducible classification system for lesions of the acetabular cartilage, which it is hoped will allow standardised documentation to be made of damage to the articular cartilage, particularly that associated with femoroacetabular impingement.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Acetabulum / pathology*
  • Arthroscopy
  • Cartilage, Articular / pathology*
  • Femoracetabular Impingement / classification*
  • Femoracetabular Impingement / diagnosis
  • Femoracetabular Impingement / pathology
  • Humans
  • Observer Variation
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Severity of Illness Index*
  • Video Recording