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Is there enough evidence to support hip capsular reconstruction? A systematic review of biomechanical studies


The aim of this study was to review and summarize the available biomechanical data on hip capsular reconstruction to guide clinical decision-making. A literature search was completed in December 2020 using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines to identify biomechanical cadaver studies on hip capsular reconstruction, hip capsulectomy or hip capsular defect. The investigated parameters included maximum distraction force, capsular state affecting range of motion (ROM), rotation and translation. Four studies met al. the inclusion-exclusion criteria. The median effective force for resisting maximum distraction for the reconstruction state, capsular defect state and the intact state was 171, 111 and 206 N, respectively. The defect capsule force was significantly lower (P = 0.00438) than the intact capsule force. The reconstruction state had a higher distraction force than that of the capsular defect, but due to heterogeneity, the overall effect size was not statistically significant. The capsular reconstruction state reduced excess motion and the degree of instability compared to the capsular defect state but restored the hip close to its native capsular state in the cadaveric model. When compared to capsulectomy/defect state, hip capsular reconstruction significantly improved the rotational stability and effective force at maximum distraction and minimized translation. However, no conclusions can be made regarding the most effective protocol due to the high heterogeneity between the four studies. Further biomechanical studies are needed to test various types of grafts under the same protocol.

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