Female Sex Is a Risk Factor for Failure of Hip Arthroscopy Performed for Acetabular Retroversion

Kirsten L. Poehling-Monaghan, Aaron J. Krych, Bruce A. Levy, Robert T. Trousdale, Rafael J. Sierra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background: The success of hip surgery in treating acetabular retroversion depends on the severity of the structural deformity and on selecting the correct patient for open or arthroscopic procedures. Purpose: To compare a group of patients with retroverted hips treated successfully with hip arthroscopy with a group of patients with retroverted hips that failed arthroscopic surgery, with special emphasis on (1) patient characteristics, (2) perioperative radiographic parameters, (3) intraoperative findings and concomitant procedures, and (4) patient sex. Study Design: Case-control study; Level of evidence, 3. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the charts of 47 adult patients (47 hips) with acetabular retroversion who had undergone hip arthroscopy. Retroversion was based on the presence of an ischial spine sign in addition to either a crossover or posterior wall sign on a well-positioned anteroposterior pelvic radiograph. A total of 24 hips (50%) (16 females, 8 males; mean patient age, 31 years) had failed arthroscopy, defined as modified Harris Hip Score (mHHS) <80 or need for subsequent procedure. Twenty-three hips (8 females, 15 males; mean patient age, 29 years) were considered successful, defined as having no subsequent procedures and an mHHS >80 at the time of most recent follow-up. Perioperative variables, radiographic characteristics, and intraoperative findings were compared between the groups, in addition to a subgroup analysis based on sex. Results: The mean follow-up for successful hips was 30 months (SD, 11 months), with a mean mHHS of 95. In the failure group, 6 patients required subsequent procedures (4 anteverting periacetabular osteotomies and 2 total hip arthroplasties). The mean overall time to failure was 21 months, and the mean time to a second procedure was 24 months (total hip arthroplasty, 29.5 months; periacetabular osteotomy, 21.2 months); 18 hips failed on the basis of a low mHHS (mean, 65; range, 27-79) at last follow-up. Factors significantly different between the success and failure groups included patient sex, with males being more likely than females to have a successful outcome (P <.02), as well as undergoing femoral osteoplasty (P <.02). Intraoperative variables that were associated with worse outcome included isolated labral debridement (P <.002). In a subgroup analysis, males were more likely than their female counterparts to have a successful outcome with both isolated cam and combined cam-pincer resection (P <.05). Level of crossover correction on postoperative radiographs had no correlation with outcome. Conclusion: Acetabular retroversion remains a challenging pathoanatomy to treat arthroscopically. If hip arthroscopy is to be considered in select cases, we recommend labral preservation when possible. Male patients with correction of cam deformities did well, while females with significant retroversion appeared to be at greater risk for failure of arthroscopic treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalOrthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 11 2017


  • FAI
  • hip
  • hip arthroscopy
  • retroversion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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