Articular cartilage friction increases in hip joints after the removal of acetabular labrum

J Biomech. 2012 Feb 2;45(3):524-30. doi: 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2011.11.044. Epub 2011 Dec 15.

Abstract

The acetabular labrum is believed to have a sealing function. However, a torn labrum may not effectively prevent joint fluid from escaping a compressed joint, resulting in impaired lubrication. We aimed to understand the role of the acetabular labrum in maintaining a low friction environment in the hip joint. We did this by measuring the resistance to rotation (RTR) of the hip, which reflects the friction of the articular cartilage surface, following focal and complete labrectomy. Five cadaveric hips without evidence of osteoarthritis and impingement were tested. We measured resistance to rotation of the hip joint during 0.5, 1, 2, and 3 times body weight (BW) cyclic loading in the intact hip, and after focal and complete labrectomy. Resistance to rotation, which reflects articular cartilage friction in an intact hip was significantly increased following focal labrectomy at 1-3 BW loading, and following complete labrectomy at all load levels. The acetabular labrum appears to maintain a low friction environment, possibly by sealing the joint from fluid exudation. Even focal labrectomy may result in increased joint friction, a condition that may be detrimental to articular cartilage and lead to osteoarthritis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acetabulum / physiopathology
  • Acetabulum / surgery
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cadaver
  • Cartilage, Articular / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Friction
  • Hip Joint / pathology*
  • Hip Joint / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Stress, Mechanical
  • Weight-Bearing