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Arthrosc Tech. 2012 Nov 16;1(2):e225-30. doi: 10.1016/j.eats.2012.08.004. Print 2012 Dec.

Endoscopic and arthroscopic assistance in femoral head core decompression.

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S.C. Traumatologia Sportiva (Sports Trauma Unit), Gaetano Pini Orthopaedic Institute, Milan, Italy.


Core decompression is a joint-preserving surgery feasible in early-stage avascular necrosis of the femoral head. An arthroscopically/endoscopically aided development of this procedure is presented to overcome some drawbacks of the standard technique. Conventional imaging may underestimate the articular damage; thus a preliminary hip arthroscopy helps to identify those patients with significant joint damage, who might not benefit from the procedure. The standard fluoroscopically guided core decompression does not allow precise targeting or reliable debridement of the lesion. Tunnel endoscopy helps the surgeon to aim precisely at the lesion and to debride it thoroughly, with accurate visual verification. In conclusion, the arthroscopic-endoscopic assistance may lead to more accurate patient selection, more precise targeting, and more complete debridement, with no apparent disadvantages.

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