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Editorial Commentary: Indiscriminate Iliopsoas Tenotomy May Cause Complications-With Tight Indications and Transbursal Lengthening, We May Avoid Them


Surgical management of iliopsoas pathology that fails conservative treatment is controversial. Potential complications following iliopsoas tenotomy include recurrent painful internal snapping, postoperative pain, and hip flexor weakness. Concerns are even greater in dysplastic patients, in whom the iliopsoas may play a role as an anteromedial hip stabilizer. Although data demonstrate arthroscopic iliopsoas tenotomy for painful internal snapping as safe and effective, its use has declined for the reasons stated above. On the other hand, procedures such as capsular plication with inferior shift and anatomic labral repair, augmentation, and reconstruction have made it possible to restore the primary stabilizers in many cases of hip instability. In these cases, iliopsoas fractional lengthening (IFL) with avoidance of collateral damage to the musculature or capsule can successfully treat painful internal snapping hip. We recommend iliopsoas lengthening when (1) there is painful internal snapping, (2) IFL can be performed without collateral damage, (3) the primary soft tissue stabilizers can be restored or augmented, and (4) there is no bony morphology likely to cause continued instability.

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