Osteochondroplasty and labral repair for the treatment of young adults with femoroacetabular impingement

Review written by Dr Joanne Kemp info

Key Points

  1. In people with femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) syndrome, there was no difference between hip arthroscopy with bony reshaping +/- labral repair compared to hip arthroscopy with washout +/- labral repair on pain at 12 months.
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Femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) syndrome with labral tears are thought to be a common cause of hip pain in young and middle-aged adults. Hip arthroscopy is commonly used to treat FAI syndrome. There have been three recent clinical trials that compared hip arthroscopy to various physiotherapist-led programs for FAI syndrome (1-3), but there have been no clinical trials that have compared hip arthroscopy to a placebo surgical treatment. Placebo surgery has been found to be equally as effective as arthroscopy in the knee (4) and shoulder (5); so it is important to test this in the hip.

This study aimed to evaluate the efficacy of hip arthroscopy for FAI syndrome (osteochondroplasty – bony reshaping, with or without labral repair) compared with arthroscopic lavage (washout) of the hip joint with or without labral repair.

Hip arthroscopy is commonly used to treat FAI syndrome.
This study raises questions about the value of correcting the bony morphology seen in FAI syndrome.


The researchers recruited 220 women and men aged 18-50 years with FAI syndrome from surgical centres in Canada, Denmark and Finland. Each person was randomly allocated to either the bony reshaping group or the placebo (washout) group. Both groups could

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