Cam Osteochondroplasty for Femoroacetabular Impingement Increases Microinstability in Deep Flexion: A Cadaveric Study

Arthroscopy. 2021 Jan;37(1):159-170. doi: 10.1016/j.arthro.2020.08.037. Epub 2020 Sep 11.


Purpose: The purpose of this in vitro cadaveric study was to examine the contributions of each surgical stage during cam femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) surgery (i.e., intact-cam hip, T-capsulotomy, cam resection, and capsular repair) toward hip range of motion, translation, and microinstability.

Methods: Twelve cadaveric cam hips were denuded to the capsule and mounted onto a robotic tester. The hips were positioned in several flexion positions-full extension, neutral (0°), 30° of flexion, and 90° of flexion-and performed internal-external rotations to 5 Nm of torque in each position. The hips underwent a series of surgical stages (T-capsulotomy, cam resection, and capsular repair) and were retested after each stage. Changes in range of motion, translation, and microinstability (overall translation normalized by femoral head radius) were measured after each stage.

Results: Regarding range of motion, cam resection increased internal rotation at 90° of flexion (change in internal rotation = +6°, P = .001) but did not affect external rotation. Capsular repair restrained external rotation compared with the cam resection stage (change in external rotation = -8° to -4°, P ≤ .04). In terms of translation, the hip translated after cam resection at 90° of flexion in the medial-lateral plane (change in translation = +1.9 mm, P = .04) relative to the intact and capsulotomy stages. Regarding microinstability, capsulotomy increased microinstability in 30° of flexion (change in microinstability [ΔM] = +0.05, P = .003), but microinstability did not further increase after cam resection. At 90° of flexion, microinstability did not increase after capsulotomy (ΔM = +0.03, P = .2) but substantially increased after cam resection (ΔM = +0.08, P = .03), accounting for a 31% change with respect to the intact stage.

Conclusions: Cam resection increased microinstability by 31% during deep hip flexion relative to the intact hip. This finding suggests that iatrogenic microinstability may be due to separation of the labral seal and resected contour of the femoral head.

Clinical relevance: Our in vitro study showed that, at time zero and prior to postoperative recovery, excessive motion after cam resection could disrupt the labral seal. Complete cam resection should be performed cautiously to avoid disruption of the labral seal and postoperative microinstability.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomechanical Phenomena / physiology
  • Cadaver
  • Femoracetabular Impingement / physiopathology*
  • Femoracetabular Impingement / surgery*
  • Hip Joint / physiopathology
  • Hip Joint / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional
  • Joint Instability / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Orthopedic Procedures*
  • Range of Motion, Articular / physiology
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed