The hip joint is a ball and socket joint, formed by the upper rounded end (head) of the femur (thigh bone) that articulates with the cavity of the acetabulum in the pelvic bone. The smooth surfaces of the femoral head and acetabulum allow smooth movement of the hip joint. Occasionally, the acetabulum and/or the femoral head may have bony irregularities due to disease, overuse or growth abnormalities, and is called femoroacetabular impingement (FAI). This can cause damage to the cartilage and tissues that border the articulating surfaces, resulting in pain and limitation of movement. FAI associated with the acetabulum is called Pincer impingement. An acetabuloplasty is a surgical procedure that corrects Pincer impingement and is indicated when conservative treatments fail to relieve pain.

Acetabuloplasty is usually performed by arthroscopy, a minimally invasive technique in which a viewing tube and miniature instruments are inserted through small incisions over the hip to reach and correct abnormalities in the acetabulum. The over-coverage is trimmed and the acetabulum reshaped to facilitate normal hip movement. Any tissue damage is also repaired. The incisions are then sutured.

Following the surgery, you may go home the same day or after a night’s stay. You will be advised to use crutches for a period of 3-8 weeks depending on your condition. A brace may be placed to protect your hip while healing. Physical therapy is usually recommended immediately following surgery to improve movement and strength.

Since acetabuloplasty is performed arthroscopically complications are rare, and may include nerve damage, bleeding, over- or under-resection of the abnormalities.

Pincer lesion untreated

Acetabuloplasty to resect pincer lesion

Pincer lesion in young active individual with pain during yoga and pilates activity, failed nonsurgical treatment

Acetabuloplasty completed to correct pincer lesion. Patient successfully returned to yoga and pilates with no pain or dysfunction

Hip Procedures
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