Symptoms of nerve dysfunction after hip arthroscopy: an under-reported complication?

Arthroscopy. 2014 Feb;30(2):202-7. doi: 10.1016/j.arthro.2013.11.014.


Purpose: The primary purpose of this study was to analyze the rate, pattern, and severity of symptoms of nerve dysfunction after hip arthroscopy (HA) by reviewing prospectively collected data. The secondary purpose was to study whether symptoms of nerve dysfunction were related to traction time.

Methods: From March to October 2010, 52 consecutive patients-27 male patients (mean age, 40 years; range, 21 to 63 years) and 25 female patients (mean age, 37 years; range, 15 to 60 years), underwent HA with labral repair, rim trimming, and osteoplasty. The patients received a follow-up questionnaire 1 year after HA concerning symptoms of nerve dysfunction, possible localization, and erectile dysfunction. Fifty patients participated and returned fully completed questionnaires. Patients reporting symptoms of nerve dysfunction 1 year after HA were re-examined.

Results: Twenty-three of 50 patients (46%) reported symptoms of nerve dysfunction during the first week after HA; this was reduced to 14 patients (28%) after 6 weeks, 11 patients (22%) after 26 weeks, and 9 patients (18%) after 1 year. One patient experienced temporary erectile dysfunction. No difference in traction time between patients with symptoms of nerve dysfunction (n = 23) and patients without (n = 27) was found (98 minutes v 100 minutes; P = .88).

Conclusions: Forty-six percent of patients undergoing HA reported symptoms of nerve dysfunction within the first 6 weeks after surgery. One year postoperatively, these symptoms remained in only 18% of all patients. Traction time during surgery was not different in patients with and those without symptoms of nerve dysfunction.

Level of evidence: Level IV, therapeutic case series.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Arthroscopy / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hip Joint / physiopathology
  • Hip Joint / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Joint Diseases / physiopathology
  • Joint Diseases / surgery
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sciatic Nerve / physiopathology*
  • Sciatic Neuropathy / diagnosis*
  • Sciatic Neuropathy / etiology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors
  • Young Adult