Surgical correction of the snapping iliopsoas tendon in adolescents

Matthew B. Dobbs, J. Eric Gordon, Scott J. Luhmann, Deborah A. Szymanski, Perry L. Schoenecker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

95 Scopus citations


Background: There have been very few reports regarding symptomatic snapping of the iliopsoas tendon, and none of those reports have dealt exclusively with an adolescent population. We report our experience with the surgical treatment of this entity in a group of patients who had an average age of fifteen years. Methods: Nine adolescent patients (eleven hips) underwent fractional lengthening of the iliopsoas tendon at the musculotendinous junction because of persistent painful snapping of the hip. A modified iliofemoral approach to the iliopsoas tendon was used. The diagnosis in all cases was made on the basis of the history and a physical examination. Plain radiographs were made for all patients to rule out an osseous intra-articular loose body. Follow-up consisted of personal interviews and physical examinations performed at least two years postoperatively. Results: Preoperatively, all patients had audible snapping with pain localized to the anterior part of the groin. The average duration of symptoms was 2.3 years. Prior to the onset of symptoms, all but one of the patients had been involved in competitive athletic activities. Postoperatively, all patients were able to return to the preoperative level of activity without subjective weakness. The average duration of postoperative follow-up was four years. Hip-flexion strength was noted to be nearly equal to that on the contralateral side. All patients reported that they would have the operation again under similar circumstances. One patient had recurrent snapping but stated that it was less frequent and less painful than the preoperative snapping. Two patients had transient sensory loss in the anterolateral aspect of the thigh. Conclusions: We conclude that fractional lengthening of the iliopsoas tendon at the musculotendinous junction is an effective and safe approach for adolescent patients with persistent symptomatic snapping of the iliopsoas tendon that is unresponsive to conservative measures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)420-424
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Bone and Joint Surgery - Series A
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2002


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