Clinical and Radiographic Criteria Define “Acceptable” Surgical Correction of Hip Femoroacetabular Impingement Syndrome as Well as Postoperative Complications: An International Modified Delphi Study

The Defining Parameters for Surgical Correction and Outcomes for Femoroacetabular Impingement Through Consensus (DEFINE) Investigators

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: To develop recommendations for clinical and radiographic criteria to help define the “acceptable” surgical correction of femoroacetabular impingement syndrome (FAIS) and identify/define complications postoperatively. Methods: A 3-phase modified Delphi study was conducted involving a case-based survey; a Likert/multiple choice-based survey concerning radiographic and physical examination characteristics to help define FAIS correction, as well as the prevalence and definition of potential postoperative complications; and 2 consensus meetings. Results: Of the 75 experts invited, 54 completed the Phase I survey, 50 completed the Phase II survey (72% and 67% response rate), and 50 participated in the Phase III consensus meetings. For both typical and atypical (complex) cases, there was consensus that fluoroscopy with multiple views and dynamic hip assessment should be used intraoperatively (96% and 100%, respectively). For typical FAIS cases, the Expert Panel agreed that Dunn lateral and anteroposterior radiographs were the most important radiographs to evaluate the hip postoperatively (88%, consensus). When asked about evaluating the correction of cam impingement postoperatively, 87% voted that they use subjective evaluation of the “sphericity” of the femoral head. In the case of focal and global pincer-type FAIS, there was consensus that the reduction or elimination of the crossover sign (84%) and lateral center-edge angle (91%) were important to inform the extent of the FAIS correction. There was consensus for recommending further investigation at 6 months postoperatively if hip pain had increased/plateaued (92% agreed); that additional investigation and treatment should occur between 6 and 12 months (90% agreed); and that a reoperation may be recommended at 12 months or later following this investigation period (89% agreed). Conclusions: This consensus project identified the importance of using fluoroscopy and dynamic hip assessment intraoperatively; Dunn lateral and anteroposterior view radiographs postoperatively; evaluating the “sphericity” of the femoral head for cam-type correction and the use of dynamic hip assessment; reducing/eliminating the crossover sign for focal pincer-type FAIS; evaluating the lateral center-edge angle for global pincer-type FAIS; and avoiding overcorrection of pincer-type FAIS. In cases in which postoperative hip pain increased/plateaued, further investigation and treatment is warranted between 6 and 12 months, and a reoperation may be recommended at a minimum of 12 months depending on the cause of the hip pain. Clinical Relevance: Hip arthroscopy surgeons have yet to reach a firm agreement on what constitutes an “acceptable” or “good” surgery radiographically and how they can achieve desired clinical outcomes. Although this was a comprehensive effort, more study is needed to determine therapeutic thresholds that can be universally applied.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1198-1210
Number of pages13
JournalArthroscopy - Journal of Arthroscopic and Related Surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2023


  • Humans
  • Femoracetabular Impingement/surgery
  • Hip Joint/surgery
  • Delphi Technique
  • Arthralgia/etiology
  • Pain/complications
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Arthroscopy/adverse effects
  • Retrospective Studies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Clinical and Radiographic Criteria Define “Acceptable” Surgical Correction of Hip Femoroacetabular Impingement Syndrome as Well as Postoperative Complications: An International Modified Delphi Study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this