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The Effect of Complete Tearing of the Ligamentum Teres in Patients Undergoing Primary Hip Arthroscopy for Femoroacetabular Impingement and Labral Tears: A Match-Controlled Study

      Purpose

      To compare the patient-reported outcomes scores (PROs) of patients with femoroacetabular impingement (FAI), labral tears, and complete ligamentum teres (LT) tears to a matched-pair control group with intact LTs, as well as to report the relative risk of total hip arthroplasty (THA) conversion.

      Methods

      Data between February 2008 and April 2015 were retrospectively reviewed. Patients undergoing hip arthroscopy included those who had complete LT tear, labral tears, FAI, and minimum 2-year follow-up with modified Harris Hip Score (mHHS), Non-arthritic Hip Score (NAHS), Hip Outcome Score–Sports Specific Subscale (HOS-SSS), International Hip Outcome Tool–12 (iHOT-12), and visual analog scale (VAS). Patients were excluded for Tönnis osteoarthritis grade >1, previous hip conditions or surgeries, and Worker's Compensation claims. Patients with full LT tears were matched in a 1:3 ratio with patients without LT tears based on age at surgery ± 5 years, sex, body mass index ± 5, capsular treatment, and acetabular Outerbridge grade. Revision surgeries and conversions to THA were documented. Relative risk for conversion to THA was determined (P = .05).

      Results

      Eighteen patients (18 hips) had minimum 2-year follow-up and were eligible for matching; as described, each study group patient was matched to 3 control patients, resulting in a size of 18 to 54 patients. PROs showed significant improvement in the complete LT tear group with the exception of the HOS-SSS measure. In the intact LT control group, all PROs significantly improved, with no exception. Based on relative risk, patients with complete LT tears were 3 times more likely to require THA than a matched control group.

      Conclusions

      After hip arthroscopy, patients with FAI and complete LT tears reported significant improvement in PROs. Among hips that did not require THA, functional scores were comparable to a matched control group. However, patients with complete LT tears were 3 times more likely to require an eventual THA than the matched control group. We conclude that patients with complete LT tears should be considered an at-risk population, and that indications and treatment may be refined to incorporate the clinical significance of complete LT tears.

      Level of Evidence

      Level III, comparative trial, case-control.
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      Linked Article

      • Editorial Commentary: Chicken or the Egg? The Ligamentum Teres and Degenerative Hip Disease
        ArthroscopyVol. 35Issue 1
        • Preview
          The ligamentum teres has traditionally been described as a vestigial remnant or redundant structure with little contribution to hip biomechanics or function. However, interest in the ligamentum teres has been renewed as evidence has emerged that it not only plays a role as a pain generator in the hip but also acts as a secondary stabilizer to supplement the work of the capsular ligaments. Furthermore, an association has been proposed between tearing of the ligamentum teres and the development of degenerative hip disease.
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