Purpose: Hip arthroscopy is becoming a common technique for the diagnosis and treatment of ligamentum teres pathologic conditions. This systematic review aims to determine the indications/contraindications, treatments, and surgical outcomes for management of ligamentum teres injuries.
Methods: We searched EMBASE, MEDLINE, and PubMed databases from 1946 to November 28, 2013 for all relevant English articles pertaining to surgical treatment of the ligamentum teres. A hand search of the reference sections of included articles was performed, and all relevant articles were systematically screened in duplicate, with agreement and descriptive statistics presented.
Results: We identified 1,016 studies, 9 of which (4 case series and 5 case reports) met our eligibility criteria. These studies had a total of 87 patients (89 hips) who had undergone either arthroscopic debridement (81 patients, 83 hips) or reconstruction with autografting, allografting, or synthetic grafting (6 patients) of a torn ligamentum teres. Major qualifications for surgery included persistent hip pain despite conservative treatment and mechanical symptoms or instability symptoms (e.g., clicking or locking). Advanced arthritis (i.e., radiographic joint space < 2 mm) was the only reported contraindication. Patients were followed postoperatively for 1.5 to 60 months and were assessed using subjective methods (i.e., modified Harris Hip Score [mHHS] and Non-Arthritic Hip Score [NAHS]). Overall, both debridement and reconstruction improved the condition of patients, with a 40% increase in reported postoperative functional scores as well as a reported 89% of patients who were able to return to regular activity/sport.
Conclusions: Ligamentum teres debridement is indicated for short-term relief of hip pain caused by partial-thickness tears (type 2) failing conservative management, whereas reconstruction with autografts, allografts, or synthetic grafts may be indicated for type 1 (full-thickness) ligamentum teres tears that are deemed "reparable," cause instability, have failed previous debridement, or a combination of these conditions.
Level of evidence: Level IV, systematic review of Level IV and Level V studies.
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