Capsular Repair May Improve Outcomes in Patients Undergoing Hip Arthroscopy for Femoroacetabular Impingement: A Systematic Review of Comparative Outcome Studies


Purpose: To review the existing literature in order to determine the effect of hip capsule repair on outcomes after hip arthroscopy for femoroacetabular impingement syndrome.

Methods: This study used Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines to find articles by using PubMed and Embase. Included studies were Level I through III studies that focused on patient outcomes as a function of hip capsular treatments: capsulotomy repair, partial repair, plication, and unrepaired capsulotomies. The Methodological Index for Non-randomized Studies was used for quality assessment of clinical outcome studies. After applying inclusion and exclusion criteria, a total of 16 comparative outcome studies evaluating 2,996 hips were included; they evaluated the following capsular management techniques: complete repair (n = 1,112, 37.1%), partial repair (n = 32, 1.1%), plication (n = 223, 7.4%), and unrepaired capsulotomy (n = 1629, 54.4%).

Results: Of the 16 studies, 13 included patient-reported outcome scores (PROs), 3 included imaging outcomes data, and 2 reported on reoperation. Of the studies, 10 directly compared patient-reported outcomes between a capsular repair group and an unrepaired group. Of the 10 studies that directly compared PROs between a group with unrepaired capsulotomy and a group with capsular repair, 8 studies demonstrated statistically significantly better PROs in the repaired group compared to the unrepaired group, and 2 studies found no difference between the groups. Reoperation rates demonstrated mixed results between groups, and no difference was found in regard to imaging outcomes.

Conclusions: Midterm outcome studies suggest that capsular repair is safe and effective in patients without arthritis who are undergoing hip arthroscopy, and it may result in superior PROs compared with those found after unrepaired capsulotomy. Studies consistently demonstrate similar or superior outcomes in cohorts after capsular repair compared to unrepaired capsulotomy, and no studies reported superior results in unrepaired capsulotomy patients.

Level of evidence: Level IV, systematic review of Level I through Level III studies.

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