Capsular Management During Hip Arthroscopy

Curr Rev Musculoskelet Med. 2023 Dec;16(12):607-615. doi: 10.1007/s12178-023-09855-x. Epub 2023 Jul 12.


Purpose of review: Hip arthroscopy is widely used for the management of intra-articular pathology and there has been growing interest in strategies for management of the hip capsule during surgery. The hip capsule is an essential structure that provides stability to the joint and it is necessarily violated during procedures that address intra-articular pathology. This article reviews different approaches to capsular management during hip arthroscopy including anatomical considerations for capsulotomy, techniques, clinical outcomes, and the role of routine capsular repair. This article also reviews the concept of hip microinstability and its potential impact on capsular management options as well as iatrogenic complications that can occur as a result of poor capsular management.

Recent findings: Current research highlights the key functional role of the hip capsule and the importance of preserving its anatomy during surgery. Capsulotomies that involve less tissue violation (periportal and puncture-type approaches) do not appear to require routine capsular repair to achieve good outcomes. Many studies have investigated the role of capsular repair following more extensive capsulotomy types (interportal and T-type), with most authors reporting superior outcomes with routine capsular repair. Strategies for capsular management during hip arthroscopy range from conservative capsulotomy techniques aimed to minimize capsular violation to more extensive capsulotomies with routine capsule closure, all of which have good short- to mid-term outcomes. There is a growing trend towards decreasing iatrogenic capsular tissue injury when possible and fully repairing the capsule when larger capsulotomies are utilized. Future research may reveal that patients with microinstability may require a more specific approach to capsular management.

Keywords: Capsular management; Capsular repair; Capsulotomy; Femoroacetabular impingement; Hip arthroscopy; Hip capsule.

Publication types

  • Review