Biomechanical Implications of Corrective Surgery for FAI: An Evidence-based Review

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Abstract

Femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) has been identified as a potential cause of hip osteoarthritis. The goal of FAI surgery is to relieve pain, and hopefully delay or prevent osteoarthritis of the hip. Several studies have now demonstrated favorable clinical outcomes after arthroscopic and open surgical correction of symptomatic FAI. The concept is restoration of normal hip anatomy may result in improved biomechanical function and kinematics of the hip, which may prevent or delay the progression of osteoarthritis. Although many clinical studies demonstrate restoration of “normal” anatomy, there are few studies evaluating improvement of biomechanics and function. To date, only 5 studies have been published in the English literature that study biomechanics and/or kinematics of the hip both preoperatively and postoperatively. At this point in the understanding of FAI, critical analysis of the literature suggests that FAI surgery can improve several parameters of biomechanical hip function. However, the impact of these improved biomechanics on the natural history and progression of degenerative changes in patients that are treated for symptomatic FAI has not been demonstrated.

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