Results of arthroscopic labral reconstruction of the hip in elite athletes

Am J Sports Med. 2013 Oct;41(10):2296-301. doi: 10.1177/0363546513498058. Epub 2013 Aug 8.


Background: Femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) has been well characterized as a cause of hip pain and resultant damage to the acetabular labrum. It has become increasingly clear that an intact labrum is essential for normal joint mechanics, hip stability, and preservation of the articular cartilage. Elite athletes with a hypoplastic or irreparable labrum present a difficult clinical challenge.

Purpose: To assess clinical outcomes and determine if elite athletes are able to return to a high level of function and sport after labral reconstruction.

Study design: Case series; Level of evidence, 4.

Methods: A retrospective review of a prospectively collected registry identified 21 elite athletes (23 hips) with an average age of 28.0 years (range, 19-41 years) who underwent an arthroscopic iliotibial band labral reconstruction. Concomitant procedures included femoral and acetabular osteoplasty in all patients and microfracture in 9 of 23 hips. Clinical outcomes were assessed with the modified Harris Hip Score (MHHS), the Hip Outcome Score (HOS), the Short Form-12 (SF-12), and patient satisfaction (on a scale from 1-10). Return to play was determined, as well as level of return to play, based on sport-specific statistics.

Results: Two patients progressed to arthroplasty. There were 2 revisions in this group of patients, both for lysis of capsulolabral adhesions in which the graft was found to be well integrated at the time of surgery. The rate of return to play was 85.7% (18/21), with 81% (17/21) returning to a similar level. Subjective follow-up was obtained from 17 of the remaining 19 patients (89%), with an average follow-up of 41.4 months (range, 20-74 months). The average MHHS improved from 67 to 84 (P = .026) and the average HOS Sport subscore from 56 to 77 (P = .009). The overall median patient satisfaction with outcome was 8.2 (range, 3-10).

Conclusion: Arthroscopic labral reconstruction using an ipsilateral iliotibial band autograft provides good short-term clinical outcomes, high patient satisfaction, and a satisfactory level of return to play in a select group of elite athletes.

Keywords: acetabular labrum; elite athletes; femoroacetabular impingement; hip; hip arthroscopy; hip labral reconstruction; professional athletes.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Arthroplasty / methods*
  • Arthroscopy / methods
  • Athletes
  • Fascia / transplantation*
  • Femoracetabular Impingement / surgery*
  • Hip Joint / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Recovery of Function
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Soccer / physiology
  • Young Adult