Complications in hip arthroscopy: A systematic review and strategies for prevention

Alexander E. Weber, Joshua D. Harris, Shane J. Nho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

87 Scopus citations


The primary objective of this study was to determine the minor and major complication rate of hip arthroscopy. The secondary objective was to provide strategies for avoiding complications. A systematic review was performed in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines and checklist. Therapeutic hip arthroscopy investigations that reported on adverse events or complications were included. Narrative and other systematic reviews, metaanalyses, conference abstracts or proceedings, and level V evidence studies were excluded. No follow-up minimum was imposed. The results yielded 53 studies (8189 hip arthroscopies in 8071 subjects). Most studies were level IV evidence (74%) with a mean of 2.2±2.1 years follow-up. Femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) and labral pathology were the 2 most common indications for surgery, and osteochondroplasty for FAI and labral treatment were the 2 most common procedures performed. The minor and major complication rates were 7.9% and 0.45%, respectively. Iatrogenic chondrolabral damage and temporary nerve injury were the 2 most common minor complications. Extra-articular fluid extravasation was the most common major complication encountered. Minor complications associated with hip arthroscopy are generally technical in nature and may be related to the learning curve associated with hip arthroscopy. As surgeon experience increases and patient selection improves, a corresponding decline should be observed in minor complications. Strategies to prevent complications include careful preoperative planning, appropriate surgical indications, attention to detail in the operating room, and proper postoperative rehabilitation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)187-193
Number of pages7
JournalSports Medicine and Arthroscopy Review
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 3 2015


  • Adverse events
  • Complications
  • FAI
  • Hip arthroscopy
  • Hip preservation
  • Labral tear

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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