The Key Parts of Hip Arthroscopy for Femoroacetabular Impingement Syndrome: Implications for the Learning Curve

Austin E. Wininger, Sherif Dabash, Thomas J. Ellis, Shane J. Nho, Joshua D. Harris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background: Hip arthroscopy is a rapidly growing surgical approach to treat femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) syndrome with a significant learning curve pertaining to complication risk, reoperation rate, and total hip arthroplasty conversion. Hip arthroscopy is more frequently being taught in residency and fellowship training. The key, or critical, parts of the technique have not yet been defined. Purpose: To identify the key components required to perform arthroscopic treatment of FAI syndrome. Study Design: Consensus statement. Methods: A 3-question survey comprising questions on hip arthroscopy for FAI was sent to a convenience sample of 101 high-volume arthroscopic hip surgeons in the United States. Surgeon career length (years) and maintenance volume (cases per year) were queried. Hip arthroscopy was divided into 10 steps using a Delphi technique to achieve a convergence of expert opinion. A step was considered “key” if it could (1) avoid complications, (2) reduce risk of revision arthroscopy, (3) reduce risk of total hip arthroplasty conversion, or (4) optimize patient-reported outcomes. Based on previous literature, steps with >90% of participants were defined as key. Descriptive and correlation statistics were calculated. Results: A total of 64 surgeons (63% response rate) reported 5.6 ± 2.1 steps as key (median, 6; range, 1-9). Most surgeons (56.3%) had been performing hip arthroscopy for >5 years. Most surgeons (71.9%) had performed >100 hip arthroscopy procedures per year. Labral treatment (97% agreement) and cam correction (91% agreement) were the 2 key steps of hip arthroscopy for FAI. Pincer/subspine correction (86% agreement), dynamic examination before capsular closure (63% agreement), and capsular management/closure (63% agreement) were selected by a majority of respondents but did not meet the study definition of key. There was no significant correlation between surgeon experience and designation of certain steps as key. Conclusion: Based on a Delphi technique and expert opinion survey of high-volume surgeons, labral treatment and cam correction are the 2 key parts of hip arthroscopy for FAI syndrome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalOrthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2021


  • FAI
  • critical steps
  • hip arthroscopy
  • learning curve
  • surgical education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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