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Hip Int. 2019 Apr 9:1120700019841579. doi: 10.1177/1120700019841579. [Epub ahead of print]

Traction force for peroperative hip dislocation in hip arthroscopy.

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Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Reinier de Graaf Hospital, Delft, The Netherlands.



Traction force widens the joint space during hip arthroscopy. It is unclear how much the traction force varies and if it is related to the joint space widening. Main goal of our study was to measure the amount of force needed to widen the hip joint. Second goal was to study the relation between this force and the amount of joint space widening.


Traction force was measured in 27 patients (of whom 24 female, mean age 41) during arthroscopy. Measurements were performed before the procedure, after vacuum seal release and after capsulotomy. Joint space widening was measured with fluoroscopy and was calibrated. Friedman and Wilcoxon tests were used to measure differences in traction. The Spearman's rho correlation coefficient was used to identify a correlation in traction force and joint space widening. Regression analyses were used to identify relations between age, body mass index (BMI), hip degeneration and traction force.


The median traction force before arthroscopy was 714 N, lowered to 520 N after vacuum seal release and to 473 N after capsulotomy ( p < 0.001). Median joint space widening was 8.8 mm. Spearmans' rho correlation between traction force and joint space widening was ‒0.13.


Median traction force of 714 N resulted in 8.8 mm of joint space widening. This traction force was significantly lowered by 200 N after release of the vacuum seal of the hip and 250 N after additional capsulotomy without loss of joint space narrowing. No significant relation was identified for age, BMI or progression of the Kellgren-Lawrence classification for hip degeneration and traction force. Netherlands Trial Registry number 8610.


Arthroscopy; dislocation; hip; traction


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