Hip arthroscopy (HA) has become the treatment of choice for femoroacetabular impingement (FAI). However, less favourable outcomes following arthroscopic surgery are expected in patients with severe chondral lesions. The aim of this study was to assess the outcomes of HA in patients with FAI and associated chondral lesions, classified according to the Outerbridge system.
A systematic search was performed on four databases. Studies which involved HA as the primary management of FAI and reported on chondral lesions as classified according to the Outerbridge classification were included. The study was registered on PROSPERO. Demographic data, patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs), complications, and rates of conversion to total hip arthroplasty (THA) were collected.
A total of 24 studies were included with a total of 3,198 patients (3,233 hips). Patients had significantly less improvement in PROMs if they had Outerbridge grade III and IV lesions (p = 0.012). Compared with microfracture, autologous matrix-induced chondrogenesis (AMIC) resulted in significantly reduced rates of conversion to THA (p = 0.042) and of revision arthroscopy (p = 0.038). Chondral repair procedures in these patients also did not significantly reduce the rates of conversion to THA (p = 0.931), or of revision arthroscopy (p = 0.218). However, compared with microfracture, AMIC significantly reduced the rates of conversion to THA (p = 0.001) and of revision arthroscopy (p = 0.011) in these patients. Those with Outerbridge grade III and IV lesions also had significantly increased rates of conversion to THA (p = 0.029) and of revision arthroscopy (p = 0.023) if they had associated lesions of the acetabulum and femoral head. Those who underwent labral debridement had a significantly increased rate of conversion to THA compared with those who underwent labral repair (p = 0.015).
There is universal improvement in PROMs following HA in patients with FAI and associated chondral lesions. However, those with Outerbridge grade III and IV lesions had significantly less improvement in PROMs and a significantly increased rate of conversion to THA than those with Outerbridge grade I and II. This suggests that the outcome of HA in patients with FAI and severe articular cartilage damage may not be favourable.
Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2023;105-B(7):751–759.