Ultrasound-Guided Iliopsoas Tendon Release: A Cadaveric Investigation

Wade O. Johnson, Jacob L. Sellon, Brittany J. Moore, Bruce A. Levy, Nirusha Lachman, Jonathan T. Finnoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The iliopsoas is a common source of anterior hip pain. Refractory cases may require surgical intervention, with reported complication rates ranging from 3% to 50%. Development of a minimally invasive, outpatient method of iliopsoas tendon release is desirable and may reduce costs, lower complications, and improve recovery time. Objective: To describe and evaluate the safety and reproducibility of an ultrasound-guided (USG) iliopsoas tendon release using a spinal needle in a cadaveric model. Design: Prospective, cadaveric laboratory investigation. Setting: Academic Institution Procedural Skills Laboratory. Participants: Five unembalmed cadaveric specimens (three female, two male), 69 to 93 years of age (mean 83.2 years), with a mean body mass index (BMI) of 24.5 kg/m2 (range 19.2 to 30.3 kg/m2). Interventions: Two operators each performed five USG iliopsoas tendon releases. Three additional investigators dissected the pelves to assess completeness of tendon release and damage to adjacent structures. Main Outcome Measures: Successful transection, completeness (%) of the tendon transection, damage to adjacent structures, and procedural time. Results: Nine of 10 releases achieved the target release of ≥75% tendon transection. One procedure achieved 50% tendon release. No injury to adjacent structures was identified. The mean duration of the procedure was 6.19 minutes. Conclusions: USG iliopsoas tendon release can be performed in a cadaveric model, consistently achieve the desired percentage of tendon release, does not result in injury to adjacent neurovascular structures, and takes approximately 6 minutes to perform. Although results cannot be generalized to a clinical setting, due to the minimally invasive nature of the procedure, it is likely that this procedure can be performed safely in an outpatient setting under local anesthesia, will cost less, and will facilitate a more rapid recovery when compared to standard surgical procedures. Further research is warranted for clinical application.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)397-404
Number of pages8
JournalPM and R
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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