Hip Arthroscopy and Femoroacetabular Impingement in the Pediatric Patient

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Femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) is widely understood to be an underlying etiology of injuries to the acetabular labrum and cartilage in the adult hip, although somewhat less attention has previously been spent on its incidence in the pediatric and adolescent populations. Initially recognized as a consequence of periacetabular osteotomies performed for developmental dysplasia of the hip, it can also be because of a number of other disorders or to a developmental process causing irregular bony growth. The adolescent presenting with FAI is athletic, particularly in endeavors placing excessive stress on the hip and surrounding soft tissues. The pain is characterized as sharp, localized around the anatomic femoral head location, and may be associated with catching or popping. Complete physical examination includes full range of motion testing, as a hallmark of FAI is restriction and pain with internal rotation. Special tests include the anterior impingement test, the FABER test, and the dial test. Imaging includes anteroposterior pelvic and cross-table lateral radiographs and magnetic resonance imaging. Treatment in all patients is 6 weeks of conservative therapy. If patients see no improvement with conservative treatment, they may be candidates for hip arthroscopy. Arthroscopic treatment of FAI includes rim trimming for pincer lesions, osteoplasty for cam decompression and labral detachment, and repair or reconstruction for labral tears. Studies have shown improvements in the modified Harris Hip Score and the Hip Outcomes Score postoperatively. As FAI is diagnosed most frequently in athletes, and it is estimated that 30 to 45 million adolescents 6 and 18 years old are involved in sports, it is becoming imperative to identify factors that may predict its development, study treatments, and improve outcomes.

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