Hips With Protrusio Acetabuli Are at Increased Risk for Failure After Femoroacetabular Impingement Surgery: A 10-year Followup.

Hanke, MS; Steppacher, SD; Zurmühle, CA; Siebenrock, KA; Tannast, M (2016). Hips With Protrusio Acetabuli Are at Increased Risk for Failure After Femoroacetabular Impingement Surgery: A 10-year Followup. Clinical orthopaedics and related research, 474(10), pp. 2168-2180. Springer 10.1007/s11999-016-4918-9

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Protrusio acetabuli is a rare anatomic pattern of the hip in which the femoral head protrudes into the true pelvis. The increased depth of the hip and the excessive size of the lunate surface typically lead to severe pincer-type femoroacetabular impingement (FAI); however, to our knowledge, there are no published mid- or long-term studies on results of circumferential acetabular rim trimming through a surgical hip dislocation for patients with this condition.


(1) What is the 10-year survivorship of the hips treated with circumferential rim trimming through a surgical hip dislocation compared with a control group of hips that underwent surgery for pincer FAI but that did not have protrusio acetabuli? (2) What are the factors that were associated with a decreased likelihood of survivorship in those hips with the following endpoints: total hip arthroplasty, Merle d'Aubigné score of less than 15, and/or radiographic progression of osteoarthritis (OA)? (3) Does the radiographic pattern of degeneration differ between the two groups?


We performed a case-control study comparing two groups: a protrusio group (32 patients [39 hips]) and a control group (66 patients [86 hips]). The control group consisted of hips treated with a surgical hip dislocation for pincer FAI and did not include hips with a positive protrusio sign or a lateral center-edge angle > 39°. The study group did not differ from the control group regarding the preoperative Tönnis OA score, age, and body mass index. However, the study group had more women, decreased mean height and weight, and lower preoperative Merle d'Aubigné-Postel scores, which were inherent differences at the time of first presentation. During the period in question, the indication for performing these procedures was a painfully restricted range of motion in flexion and internal rotation (positive impingement sign). The mean followup of the protrusio group (9 ± 5 years [range, 2-18 years]) did not differ from the control group (11 ± 1 years [range, 10-13 years], p = 0.109). At the respective minimum followup intervals in the underlying database from which cases and control subjects were drawn, followup was 100% for patients with protrusion who underwent FAI surgery and 97% for patients with FAI who underwent surgery for other anatomic patterns (three of 86 hips). We assessed the Merle d'Aubigné-Postel score, Harris hip score, WOMAC, and UCLA activity score at latest followup. A Kaplan-Meier survivorship analysis of the hip was calculated if any of the following endpoints for both groups occurred: conversion to total hip arthroplasty, a Merle d'Aubigné-Postel score < 15, and/or radiographic progression of OA. Differences in survivorship were analyzed using the log-rank test.


At 10-year followup, we found a decreased survivorship of the hip for the protrusio group (51% [95% confidence interval {CI}, 34%-67%]) compared with the control group (83% [95% CI, 75%-91%], p < 0.001) with one or more of the endpoints stated. We found four multivariate factors associated with a decreased likelihood of survival of the native hip according to the mentioned endpoints: body mass index > 25 kg/m(2) (adjusted hazard ratio, 6.4; 95% CI, 5.2-8.1; p = 0.009), a preoperative Tönnis OA score ≥ 1 (13.3; 95% CI, 11.8-14.9; p = 0.001), a postoperative lateral center-edge angle > 40° (4.2; 95% CI, 2.8-5.6; p = 0.042), and a postoperative posterior coverage > 56% (6.0; 95% CI, 4.3-7.6; p = 0.037). Preoperatively, joint space narrowing and osteophytes were more frequent posteroinferior (joint space narrowing 18% versus 2%, p = 0.008; osteophytes 21% versus 4%, p = 0.007), medial (joint space narrowing 33% versus 5%, p < 0.001) and  anterior (osteophytes 15% versus 1%, p = 0.004) in the protrusio compared with the control group. After correction in hips with protrusio, progression of joint space narrowing (from 6% to 45%, p = 0.001) and osteophyte formation (from 15% to 52%, p = 0.002) was most pronounced laterally.


At 10 years, in 51% of all hips undergoing open acetabular rim trimming for protrusio acetabuli, the hip can be preserved without further radiographic degeneration and a Merle d'Aubigné score > 15. Even with the lack of a control group with nonoperative treatment, isolated rim trimming may not entirely resolve the pathomorphology in protrusio hips given the clearly inferior results compared with surgical hip dislocation for FAI without severe overcoverage.


Level III, therapeutic study.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Orthopaedic, Plastic and Hand Surgery (DOPH) > Clinic of Orthopaedic Surgery

UniBE Contributor:

Hanke, Markus (B), Steppacher, Simon Damian, Zurmühle, Corinne Andrea, Siebenrock, Klaus-Arno, Tannast, Moritz


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health








Lilianna Bolliger

Date Deposited:

22 Mar 2017 12:46

Last Modified:

29 Mar 2023 23:35

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