Editorial Commentary: Psoas Tenotomy in the Setting of a Borderline Dysplastic Hip Risks Iatrogenic Instability: Be Extremely Cautious and Particularly in Athletes

Arthroscopy. 2021 Aug;37(8):2485-2487. doi: 10.1016/j.arthro.2021.04.025.


Successful outcomes after psoas tenotomies have been reported and proposed in the setting of recalcitrant internal snapping and psoas impingement. However, case reports citing hip flexion weakness and iatrogenic instability created concern regarding the role for psoas tenotomies. Despite these concerns, some recent studies reporting improved outcomes after endoscopic psoas tenotomies breathe further life into this controversial topic. Psoas tenotomy in the setting of a borderline dysplastic hip likely carries an even greater risk for iatrogenic instability. It might be critical to evaluate for clinical signs and symptoms of instability in addition to radiographic parameters to avoid this potentially devastating complication. In addition, the traditional definition of borderline dysplasia is based on lateral acetabular coverage that might be less important than anterior acetabular coverage and femoral version when contemplating psoas tenotomies on the basis of the dynamic anterior stabilizing effect of the iliopsoas myotendinous unit. Surgeons should also be extremely cautious when considering psoas tenotomy in an athletic population with the potential for persistent weakness and limited data hinting at inferior sports specific outcomes. In the end, it is not clear whether the psoas tenotomy "drives" the improvements seen in some studies, or whether many of these patients ultimately battle their way into a minimally clinically important difference "despite" the psoas tenotomy.

Publication types

  • Editorial
  • Comment

MeSH terms

  • Arthroscopy
  • Athletes
  • Hip Joint*
  • Humans
  • Iatrogenic Disease
  • Tenotomy*