Indications and Outcomes for Microfracture as an Adjunct to Hip Arthroscopy for Treatment of Chondral Defects in Patients With Femoroacetabular Impingement: A Systematic Review Academic Article uri icon

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  • PURPOSE: To evaluate the indications, preoperative workup outcomes, and postoperative rehabilitation of patients with femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) receiving microfracture as an adjunct to hip arthroscopy for chondral defects. METHODS: The electronic databases MEDLINE, EMBASE, and PubMed were searched and screened in duplicate for studies involving patients with FAI treated arthroscopically with microfracture of the hip for chondral defects either solely or as an adjunct to hip arthroscopy. Data regarding indications, investigations, outcomes, and postoperative rehabilitation were abstracted from eligible studies. The references of included studies were additionally searched, and descriptive statistics are provided. RESULTS: There were 12 studies included in this review, involving 267 patients. With the exception of a single, one-patient case report, 11 of the 12 studies reported positive outcomes after hip arthroscopy with microfracture. Only 0.7% of the total patients experienced a complication, and 1.1% required further surgery on the basis of outcomes evaluated at a mean follow-up of 29.5 (range, 4 to 60) months across the studies. Eight of 12 studies discussed the preoperative workup of these patients, with X-rays and magnetic resonance imaging being the most common preoperative imaging used. There was little reported on weight-bearing status during postoperative rehabilitation. CONCLUSIONS: The outcomes reported in the literature after hip arthroscopy with microfracture for chondral defects are, in general, positive, with a very low percentage of patients requiring further surgery or experiencing complications. The most common indication used in the literature for microfracture is a full-thickness, focal chondral defect (Outerbridge grade IV). The vast majority of literature recommends limited weight bearing after microfracture; however, there was significant variation among the specific rehabilitation protocols used. More research is needed to explore what indications and postoperative rehabilitation result in the best outcomes for patients. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Level IV, systematic review of Level II, III, and IV studies.


  • MacDonald, Austin E
  • Bedi, Asheesh
  • Horner, Nolan S
  • de SA, Darren
  • Simunovic, Nicole
  • Philippon, Marc J
  • Ayeni, Olufemi

publication date

  • January 2016