Labral Refixation: Current Techniques and Indications

Marc J. Philippon, MD
Steadman Philippon Research Institute, The Steadman Clinic, Vail, CO
Department of Surgery, McMasters University, Ontario, Canada

Karen K. Briggs, MPH
Steadman Philippon Research Institute, Vail, CO

Teddy Fagrelius, BA
Steadman Philippon Research Institute, Vail, CO

Dianna Patterson, BA
Steadman Philippon Research Institute, Vail, CO


Abstract

Background 
Labral tears have been associated with femoroacetabular impingement, instability, sports-related activity or trauma, capsular laxity or hypermobility, dysplasia, and degeneration. Disruption of the labrum increases the rate of acetabular cartilage compression and the contact stress between the femoral and acetabular cartilage. If left untreated, these lesions will alter normal hip joint function and may eventually lead to osteoarthritis.

Methods 
For the labrum with adequate tissue (>7 mm), the labrum is repaired if it is detached or torn. If the labrum is bruised, a rim reduction and repair is performed, especially in the presence of cartilage damage and the labral–chondral junction. Labri are debrided only if there is enough substance to maintain the function of the labrum. Care must be taken to fix the labrum so that it provides adequate seal with the femoral head.

Results 
Two-year outcome on 122 patients who underwent arthroscopic treatment for femoroacetabular impingement and chondrolabral dysfunction showed that, overall, most patients showed an improvement in symptoms and function and were satisfied with the results. Independent predictors of improved outcomes were joint space >2 mm and repair of labral pathology instead of debridement. Several other studies have shown excellent results following labral refixation and repair.

Conclusions 
Labral tears have been associated with femoroacetabular impingement, instability, sports-related activity or trauma, capsular laxity or hypermobility, dysplasia, and degeneration. Untreated labral tears can result in premature osteoarthritis of the hip. Debridement only used to be the standard of care, but excellent results reveal arthroscopic labral repair and refixation are an option with good outcomes.

This article appears in HSS Journal: Volume 8, Number 3.
View the full article at springerlink.com.

About the HSS Journal

HSS Journal, an academic peer-reviewed journal published three times a year, February, July and October. The Journal accepts and publishes peer reviewed articles from around the world that contribute to the advancement of the knowledge of musculoskeletal diseases and disorders.


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