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J La State Med Soc. 2013 Mar-Apr;165(2):88-93.

Psoas impingement causing labrum tear: a series from three tertiary hip arthroscopy centers.

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Lake Charles Memorial Hospital, New Orleans, USA.



The term hip impingement is usually associated with psoas impingement after arthroplasty or femoroacetabular impingement (FAI). A recently, less commonly described mechanism of impingement and labrum pathology is the psoas tendon applying pressure to the acetabular labrum more medial to the typical FAI labrum lesion. Much is still unkown about the anatomy, pathology, and treatment of this entity.


This paper describes the successful arthroscopic treatment of a series of patients with a recently recognized cause of hip pain in the young athletic population without significant bony pathology or coxa saltans. Awareness of this entity is important to allow appropriate treatment of the labrum and psoas tendon.


Seven hundred hip arthroscopies by three surgeons at different centers were retrospectively reviewed. Athletes with labrum tears from the two to three o'clock position were evaluated for inclusion in the study. Patients with osteoarthritis, crossover sign, coxa profunda, CAM lesion, acute trauma, or coxa saltans were excluded. All authors were the primary surgeons and are fellowship-trained hip arthroscopists working in tertiary hip arthroscopy centers. Pre- and postoperative Harris Hip scores were obtained. Patients underwent diagnostic and therapeutic hip arthroscopy. The psoas tendon was released in all patients at the level of the capsule via a transcapsular approach. Labrum repairs were performed when deemed beneficial by the operative surgeon.


Twenty-two patients (26 hips, 4 bilateral) were identified with a labrum tear apparently caused by psoas impingement and had no other significant hip abnormalities. All but one were female. Average age was 19 (12-25 years). Labral repair was performed in all but two patients. Average anchors used were 1.2 per hip. Pre- and postoperative Harris hip scores were obtained with a minimum follow-up of six months for 16 patients. Average Harris hip score improved from 70 preop to 94 postop. There were no significant complications identified.


We describe a recently recognized entity encountered in the treatment of athletes with hip pain consisting of labrum pathology associated with the psoas tendon rather than bony abnormality. Arthroscopic treatment, including a psoas tendon release and a more medial labrum repair, can provide relief with no significant complications in the short term.


Understanding the unique pathoanatomy of this entity may allow the surgeon to provide more thorough informed consent, prepare for a more medial labrum repair than usual, and provide appropriate referral when necessary.

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