Hip instability

Matthew V. Smith, Jon K. Sekiya

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Hip instability is becoming a more commonly recognized source of pain and disability in patients. Traumatic causes of hip instability are often clear. Appropriate treatment includes immediate reduction, early surgery for acetabular rim fractures greater than 25% or incarcerated fragments in the joint, and close follow-up to monitor for avascular necrosis. Late surgical intervention may be necessary for residual symptomatic hip instability. Atraumatic causes of hip instability include repetitive external rotation with axial loading, generalized ligamentous laxity, and collagen disorders like Ehlers-Danlos. Symptoms caused by atraumatic hip instability often have an insidious onset. Patients may have a wide array of hip symptoms while demonstrating only subtle findings suggestive of capsular laxity. Traction views of the affected hip can be helpful in diagnosing hip instability. Open and arthroscopic techniques can be used to treat capsular laxity. We describe an arthroscopic anterior hip capsular plication using a suture technique.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)108-112
Number of pages5
JournalSports Medicine and Arthroscopy Review
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2010


  • Arthroscopy
  • Capsular laxity
  • Hip
  • Instability


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