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Bone & Joint Open
Vol. 3, Issue 9 | Pages 666 - 673
1 Sep 2022
Blümel S Leunig M Manner H Tannast M Stetzelberger VM Ganz R


Avascular femoral head necrosis in the context of gymnastics is a rare but serious complication, appearing similar to Perthes’ disease but occurring later during adolescence. Based on 3D CT animations, we propose repetitive impact between the main supplying vessels on the posterolateral femoral neck and the posterior acetabular wall in hyperextension and external rotation as a possible cause of direct vascular damage, and subsequent femoral head necrosis in three adolescent female gymnasts we are reporting on.


Outcome of hip-preserving head reduction osteotomy combined with periacetabular osteotomy was good in one and moderate in the other up to three years after surgery; based on the pronounced hip destruction, the third received initially a total hip arthroplasty.

Bone & Joint Research
Vol. 9, Issue 9 | Pages 633 - 634
1 Sep 2020
Matsumoto K Ganz R Khanduja V

Bone & Joint Research
Vol. 9, Issue 9 | Pages 572 - 577
1 Sep 2020
Matsumoto K Ganz R Khanduja V


Femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) describes abnormal bony contact of the proximal femur against the acetabulum. The term was first coined in 1999; however what is often overlooked is that descriptions of the morphology have existed in the literature for centuries. The aim of this paper is to delineate its origins and provide further clarity on FAI to shape future research.


A non-systematic search on PubMed was performed using keywords such as “impingement” or “tilt deformity” to find early anatomical descriptions of FAI. Relevant references from these primary studies were then followed up.

The Bone & Joint Journal
Vol. 99-B, Issue 1 | Pages 16 - 21
1 Jan 2017
Aprato A Leunig M Massé A Slongo T Ganz R


Several studies have reported the safety and efficacy of subcapital re-alignment for patients with slipped capital femoral epiphysis (SCFE) using surgical dislocation of the hip and an extended retinacular flap. Instability of the hip and dislocation as a consequence of this surgery has only recently gained attention. We discuss this problem with some illustrative cases.

Materials and Methods

We explored the literature on the possible pathophysiological causes and surgical steps associated with the risk of post-operative instability and articular damage. In addition, we describe supplementary steps that could be used to avoid these problems.

The Bone & Joint Journal
Vol. 97-B, Issue 5 | Pages 636 - 641
1 May 2015
Kalhor M Gharehdaghi J Schoeniger R Ganz R

The modified Smith–Petersen and Kocher–Langenbeck approaches were used to expose the lateral cutaneous nerve of the thigh and the femoral, obturator and sciatic nerves in order to study the risk of injury to these structures during the dissection, osteotomy, and acetabular reorientation stages of a Bernese peri-acetabular osteotomy.

Injury of the lateral cutaneous nerve of thigh was less likely to occur if an osteotomy of the anterior superior iliac spine had been carried out before exposing the hip.

The obturator nerve was likely to be injured during unprotected osteotomy of the pubis if the far cortex was penetrated by > 5 mm. This could be avoided by inclining the osteotome 45° medially and performing the osteotomy at least 2 cm medial to the iliopectineal eminence.

The sciatic nerve could be injured during the first and last stages of the osteotomy if the osteotome perforated the lateral cortex of ischium and the ilio-ischial junction by > 10 mm.

The femoral nerve could be stretched or entrapped during osteotomy of the pubis if there was significant rotational or linear displacement of the acetabulum. Anterior or medial displacement of < 2 cm and lateral tilt (retroversion) of < 30° were safe margins. The combination of retroversion and anterior displacement could increase tension on the nerve.

Strict observation of anatomical details, proper handling of the osteotomes and careful manipulation of the acetabular fragment reduce the neurological complications of Bernese peri-acetabular osteotomy.

Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2015;97-B:636–41.

The Bone & Joint Journal
Vol. 96-B, Issue 1 | Pages 5 - 18
1 Jan 2014
Leunig M Ganz R

The use of joint-preserving surgery of the hip has been largely abandoned since the introduction of total hip replacement. However, with the modification of such techniques as pelvic osteotomy, and the introduction of intracapsular procedures such as surgical hip dislocation and arthroscopy, previously unexpected options for the surgical treatment of sequelae of childhood conditions, including developmental dysplasia of the hip, slipped upper femoral epiphysis and Perthes’ disease, have become available. Moreover, femoroacetabular impingement has been identified as a significant aetiological factor in the development of osteoarthritis in many hips previously considered to suffer from primary osteoarthritis.

As mechanical causes of degenerative joint disease are now recognised earlier in the disease process, these techniques may be used to decelerate or even prevent progression to osteoarthritis. We review the recent development of these concepts and the associated surgical techniques.

Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2014;96-B:5–18.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 87-B, Issue 7 | Pages 1012 - 1018
1 Jul 2005
Beck M Kalhor M Leunig M Ganz R

Recently, femoroacetabular impingement has been recognised as a cause of early osteoarthritis. There are two mechanisms of impingement: 1) cam impingement caused by a non-spherical head and 2) pincer impingement caused by excessive acetabular cover. We hypothesised that both mechanisms result in different patterns of articular damage. Of 302 analysed hips only 26 had an isolated cam and 16 an isolated pincer impingement. Cam impingement caused damage to the anterosuperior acetabular cartilage with separation between the labrum and cartilage. During flexion, the cartilage was sheared off the bone by the non-spherical femoral head while the labrum remained untouched. In pincer impingement, the cartilage damage was located circumferentially and included only a narrow strip. During movement the labrum is crushed between the acetabular rim and the femoral neck causing degeneration and ossification.

Both cam and pincer impingement lead to osteoarthritis of the hip. Labral damage indicates ongoing impingement and rarely occurs alone.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 85-B, Issue 3 | Pages 462 - 462
1 Apr 2003

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 84-B, Issue 3 | Pages 447 - 451
1 Apr 2002
Eggli S z’Brun S Gerber C Ganz R

In this prospective, randomised study, we have compared the wear rate of cemented, acetabular polyethylene cups articulating with either a 22 mm or a 32 mm cobalt-chromium head. We evaluated 89 patients who had a total of 484 radiographs. The mean follow-up period was 71.4 months (SD 29.1). All the radiographs were digitised and electronically measured.

The linear wear rate was significantly higher during the first two years and decreased after this period to a constant value. We suggest that this is partly due to a ‘run-in’ process caused by irregularities between surfaces of the cup and head and an initial plastic deformation of the polyethylene. The mean volumetric wear was 120.3 mm3/year for the 32 mm head, which was significantly higher than the 41.5 mm3/year for the 22 mm heads. The mean linear wear rate was not significantly different. We were, however, unable to find radiological signs of osteolysis in the patients who had higher wear rates.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 84-B, Issue 2 | Pages 300 - 304
1 Mar 2002
Nötzli HP Siebenrock KA Hempfing A Ramseier LE Ganz R

We used laser Doppler flowmetry (LDF) with a high energy (20 mW) laser to measure perfusion of the femoral head intraoperatively in 32 hips. The surgical procedure was joint debridement requiring dislocation or subluxation of the hip. The laser probe was placed within the anterosuperior quadrant of the femoral head. Blood flow was monitored in specific positions of the hip before and after dislocation or subluxation.

With the femoral head reduced, external rotation, both in extension and flexion, caused a reduction of blood flow. During subluxation or dislocation, it was impaired when the posterosuperior femoral neck was allowed to rest on the posterior acetabular rim. A pulsatile signal returned when the hip was reduced, or was taken out of extreme positions when dislocated. After the final reduction, the signal amplitudes were first slightly lower (12%) compared with the initial value but tended to be restored to the initial levels within 30 minutes.

Most of the changes in the signal can be explained by compromise of the extraosseous branches of the medial femoral circumflex artery and are reversible. Our study shows that LDF provides proof for the clinical observation that perfusion of the femoral head is maintained after dislocation if specific surgical precautions are followed.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 84-B, Issue 1 | Pages 66 - 69
1 Jan 2002
Kloen P Leunig M Ganz R

Osteonecrosis of the femoral head can be caused by a variety of disorders and affects the relatively young patient. Most studies have concentrated on the femoral changes; the sites of early lesions of the labrum and acetabular cartilage have not been recorded. We studied 17 hips with osteonecrosis and a wide congruent joint space on radiographs and by direct inspection of the femoral head, labrum and acetabular cartilage during surgery. All of the femoral heads had some anterosuperior flattening which reduced the head-neck ratio in this area. A consistent pattern of damage to the labrum and the acetabular cartilage was seen in all hips. Intraoperatively, impingement and the cam-effect with its spatial correlation with lesions of the labrum and acetabular cartilage were observed. These findings could be helpful when undertaking conservative surgery for osteonecrosis, since the recognition of early radiologically undetectable acetabular lesions may require modification of the surgical technique.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 83-B, Issue 8 | Pages 1119 - 1124
1 Nov 2001
Ganz R Gill TJ Gautier E Ganz K Krügel N Berlemann U

Surgical dislocation of the hip is rarely undertaken. The potential danger to the vascularity of the femoral head has been emphasised, but there is little information as to how this danger can be avoided. We describe a technique for operative dislocation of the hip, based on detailed anatomical studies of the blood supply. It combines aspects of approaches which have been reported previously and consists of an anterior dislocation through a posterior approach with a ‘trochanteric flip’ osteotomy. The external rotator muscles are not divided and the medial femoral circumflex artery is protected by the intact obturator externus. We report our experience using this approach in 213 hips over a period of seven years and include 19 patients who underwent simultaneous intertrochanteric osteotomy. The perfusion of the femoral head was verified intraoperatively and, to date, none has subsequently developed avascular necrosis. There is little morbidity associated with the technique and it allows the treatment of a variety of conditions, which may not respond well to other methods including arthroscopy. Surgical dislocation gives new insight into the pathogenesis of some hip disorders and the possibility of preserving the hip with techniques such as transplantation of cartilage.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 83-B, Issue 2 | Pages 171 - 176
1 Mar 2001
Ito K Minka-II M Leunig M Werlen S Ganz R

We have observed damage to the labrum as a result of repetitive acetabular impingement in non-dysplastic hips, in which the femoral neck appears to abut against the acetabular labrum and a non-spherical femoral head to press against the labrum and adjacent cartilage. In both mechanisms anatomical variations of the proximal femur may be a factor. We have measured the orientation of the femoral neck and the offset of the head at various circumferential positions, using MRI data from volunteers with no osteoarthritic changes on standard radiographs. Compared with the control subjects, paired for gender and age, patients showed a significant reduction in mean femoral anteversion and mean head-neck offset on the anterior aspect of the neck. This was consistent with the site of symptomatic impingement in flexion and internal rotation, and with lesions of the adjacent rim. Furthermore, when stratified for gender and age, and compared with the control group, the mean femoral head-neck offset was significantly reduced in the lateral-to-anterior aspect of the neck for young men, and in the anterolateral-to-anterior aspect of the neck for older women. For patients suspected of having impingement of the rim, anatomical variations in the proximal femur should be considered as a possible cause.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 82-B, Issue 5 | Pages 679 - 683
1 Jul 2000
Gautier E Ganz K Krügel N Gill T Ganz R

The primary source for the blood supply of the head of the femur is the deep branch of the medial femoral circumflex artery (MFCA). In posterior approaches to the hip and pelvis the short external rotators are often divided. This can damage the deep branch and interfere with perfusion of the head.

We describe the anatomy of the MFCA and its branches based on dissections of 24 cadaver hips after injection of neoprene-latex into the femoral or internal iliac arteries.

The course of the deep branch of the MFCA was constant in its extracapsular segment. In all cases there was a trochanteric branch at the proximal border of quadratus femoris spreading on to the lateral aspect of the greater trochanter. This branch marks the level of the tendon of obturator externus, which is crossed posteriorly by the deep branch of the MFCA. As the deep branch travels superiorly, it crosses anterior to the conjoint tendon of gemellus inferior, obturator internus and gemellus superior. It then perforates the joint capsule at the level of gemellus superior. In its intracapsular segment it runs along the posterosuperior aspect of the neck of the femur dividing into two to four subsynovial retinacular vessels. We demonstrated that obturator externus protected the deep branch of the MFCA from being disrupted or stretched during dislocation of the hip in any direction after serial release of all other soft-tissue attachments of the proximal femur, including a complete circumferential capsulotomy.

Precise knowledge of the extracapsular anatomy of the MFCA and its surrounding structures will help to avoid iatrogenic avascular necrosis of the head of the femur in reconstructive surgery of the hip and fixation of acetabular fractures through the posterior approach.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 82-B, Issue 3 | Pages 358 - 363
1 Apr 2000
Beck M Sledge JB Gautier E Dora CF Ganz R

In order to investigate the functional anatomy of gluteus minimus we dissected 16 hips in fresh cadavers. The muscle originates from the external aspect of the ilium, between the anterior and inferior gluteal lines, and also at the sciatic notch from the inside of the pelvis where it protects the superior gluteal nerve and artery. It inserts anterosuperiorly into the capsule of the hip and continues to its main insertion on the greater trochanter.

Based on these anatomical findings, a model was developed using plastic bones. A study of its mechanics showed that gluteus minimus acts as a flexor, an abductor and an internal or external rotator, depending on the position of the femur and which part of the muscle is active. It follows that one of its functions is to stabilise the head of the femur in the acetabulum by tightening the capsule and applying pressure on the head. Careful preservation or reattachment of the tendon of gluteus minimus during surgery on the hip is strongly recommended.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 81-B, Issue 6 | Pages 975 - 978
1 Nov 1999
MacDonald SJ Hersche O Ganz R

We carried out the Bernese periacetabular osteotomy for the treatment of 13 dysplastic hips in 11 skeletally mature patients with an underlying neurological diagnosis. Seven hips had flaccid paralysis and six were spastic. The mean age at the time of surgery was 23 years and the mean length of follow-up was 6.4 years. Preoperatively, 11 hips had pain and two had progressive subluxation.

Before operation the mean Tönnis angle was 33°, the mean centre-edge angle was −10°, and the mean extrusion index was 53%. Postoperatively, they were 8°, 25° and 15%, respectively. Pain was eliminated in 7 patients and reduced in four in those who had preoperative pain. One patient developed pain secondary to anterior impingement from excessive retroversion of the acetabulum. Four required a varus proximal femoral osteotomy at the time of the pelvic procedure and one a late varus proximal femoral osteotomy for progressive subluxation.

Before operation no patient had arthritis. At the most recent follow-up one had early arthritis of the hip (Tönnis grade I) and one had advanced arthritis (Tönnis grade III).

Our results suggest that the Bernese periacetabular osteotomy can be used successfully to treat neurogenic acetabular dysplasia in skeletally mature patients.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 81-B, Issue 5 | Pages 915 - 920
1 Sep 1999
Sckell A Leunig M Fraitzl CR Ganz R Ballmer FT

Free patellar tendon grafts used for the intra-articular replacement of ruptured anterior cruciate ligaments (ACL) lack perfusion at the time of implantation. The central core of the graft undergoes a process of ischaemic necrosis which may result in failure. Early reperfusion of the graft may diminish the extent of this process.

We assessed the role of peritendinous connective tissue in the revascularisation of the patellar tendon graft from the day of implantation up to 24 days in a murine model using intravital microscopy. The peritendinous connective-tissue envelope of the graft was either completely removed, partially removed or not stripped before implantation into dorsal skinfold chambers of recipient mice.

Initial revascularisation of the grafts with preserved peritendinous connective tissues began after two days. The process was delayed by five to six times in completely stripped patellar tendons (p < 0.05). Only grafts with preserved connective tissues showed high viability whereas those which were completely stripped appeared to be subvital.

The presence of peritendinous connective tissues accelerates the revascularisation of free patellar tendon grafts.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 79-B, Issue 2 | Pages 247 - 253
1 Mar 1997
Boos N Krushell R Ganz R Müller ME

We compared 74 total hip arthroplasties (THAs) carried out after previous proximal femoral osteotomy with a diagnosis-matched control group of 74 primary procedures performed during the same period. We report the perioperative results and the clinical and radiological outcome at five to ten years.

We anticipated a higher rate of complications in the group with previous osteotomy, but found no significant difference in the rate of perioperative complications (11% each) or in the septic (8% v 3%) and aseptic (4% each) revision rates. There was a trend towards improved survival in the group without previous osteotomy (90% v 82%), but this difference was not statistically significant. The only significant differences were a higher rate of trochanteric osteotomy (88% v 14%) and a longer operating time in the osteotomy group.

Our study indicates that THA after previous osteotomy is technically more demanding but not necessarily associated with a higher rate of complications. Furthermore, proximal femoral osteotomy does not jeopardise the clinical and radiological outcome of future THA enough to exclude the use of osteotomy as a therapeutic alternative in younger patients.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 79-B, Issue 2 | Pages 230 - 234
1 Mar 1997
Leunig M Werlen S Ungersböck A Ito K Ganz R

Since January 1993 we have carried out MR arthrography on 23 patients with clinical symptoms and signs of abnormality of the acetabular labrum. Most of the patients were young adults. Such symptoms are known precursors of osteoarthritis, and therefore early and accurate evaluation is required.

We assessed the value of MR arthrography of the hip as a minimally-invasive diagnostic technique, in a prospective study and compared the findings with those at subsequent operations. All the patients complained of groin pain; 22 had a positive acetabular impingement test and 15 had radiological evidence of hip dysplasia.

In 21 of the patients, MR arthrography suggested either degeneration or a tear of the labrum or both. These findings were confirmed at operation in 18 patients, but there was no abnormality of the labrum in the other three. In two of the patients, MR arthrography erroneously suggested an intact labrum. Both MR arthrography and intraoperative inspection located lesions of the superior labrum most often, and these appeared slightly larger on arthrography than at operation.

We consider that MR arthrography is a promising diagnostic technique for the evaluation of abnormalities of the acetabular labrum.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 79-B, Issue 2 | Pages 289 - 294
1 Mar 1997
Ring D Jupiter JB Sanders RA Quintero J Santoro VM Ganz R Marti RK

We have treated 42 consecutive complex ununited fractures of the femoral shaft by wave-plate osteosynthesis at five different medical centres. There were 13 with previous infection, 12 with segmental cortical defects, and 3 were pathological fractures. In 39 cases there had been previous internal fixation and 21 patients had had more than one earlier operation.

Union was achieved in 41 patients at an average of six months, although three had required a second bone graft. Two patients had recurrence of infection and in one this resulted in the persistence of nonunion. There were no failures of the implant. All 41 patients with union are now fully weight-bearing, but four have a leg-length discrepancy, one has axial malalignment, and nine have residual stiffness of the knee. These results are surprisingly good, despite the complexity of the initial problem, and appear to confirm the biological and mechanical advantages of the wave plate over the conventional plate for such cases.