Surgical Dislocation of the Hip: Evolving Indications

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Background: Femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) is a condition that has become increasingly identified as abnormal, repetitive abutment of the proximal femur and acetabular rim. Safe surgical dislocation of the hip has been popularized as a technique that allows surgeons to not only improve joint preservation procedures but also understand disease patterns more clearly. Questions/Purposes: We describe the technique of surgical dislocation as well as review the indications, results, and complications that are associated with the procedure. We also present various case examples to highlight this technique. Search Strategies: We performed a systematic review of the literature to define the indications, clinical outcomes, and complications associated with surgical dislocation of the hip for the treatment of FAI. Results: Clinical success rates vary in the literature between 64% and 96% of patients with good results, and conversion to total hip arthroplasty ranging between 0% and 30% in patients who underwent FAI treatment with surgical dislocation. Reported major complication rates have ranged from 3. 3% to 6%, most commonly in the form of trochanteric nonunion, neurapraxia, or heterotopic ossification. Conclusions: FAI deformities encompass a wide spectrum of disease patterns. Surgical dislocation allows full access to the hip in addition to observing its pathomechanics. Strict adherence to proper technique allows the surgeon to minimize complication rates while treating the deformity at hand.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)60-69
Number of pages10
JournalHSS Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2013


  • FAI
  • SCFE
  • femoroacetabular impingement
  • hip dislocation
  • perthes


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