Purpose: The purpose is to describe a noninvasive arthroscopic procedure as an alternative to open surgery for avascular necrosis of the hip.
Methods: Patients with grade I or IIA avascular necrosis of the hip are treated by core decompression performed by drilling under fluoroscopic guidance. Liquid platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is delivered through a trocar, saturating the necrotic area. In more severe conditions, the necrotic bone is decompressed and debrided, through a cortical window at the head-neck junction. A composite graft made of autologous bone and PRP is delivered by impactation through the core decompression track. Fibrin membranes are applied to enhance healing of the head-neck window and arthroscopic portals. Platelet-rich plasma is infiltrated in the central compartment.
Results: This arthroscopic approach aids in making diagnosis of the labrum and articular cartilage and permits intra-operative treatment decisions. Visual control permits the precise localization and treatment for the necrotic area allowing cartilage integrity to be preserved.
Conclusions: Arthroscopic management of avascular necrosis of the femoral head is viable and has significant advantages. Clinical studies should justify the theoretical additional benefits of this approach.